Napoli will look to get back on form and take a stride towards the Serie A title when they face relegation-threatened Hellas Verona.

Luciano Spalletti will not have been concerned too much with an occasional loss. But his team’s levels have dropped off alarmingly in recent weeks. Napoli returned to winning ways last weekend against Lecce but again suffered a loss to Milan in the Champions League ahead of the weekend clash against Hellas Verona.

Brahim Diaz’s strike before half-time proved enough for Milan to secure a victory, which was also their second in a fortnight against Napoli. The game also saw Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa get set off for a second bookable offence, drastically reducing Napoli’s chances of getting back into the game.

Spalletti will remain concerned with their recent form but will aim to bounce, especially with the mindset to regain confidence ahead of the Champions League second leg. Moreover, they have shown reluctance to score many goals without striker Victor Osimhen, managing only two strikes in their last three games.

Hellas Verona come to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in 18th place, knowing they will remain in the bottom three irrespective of their result against Napoli. They are not in immediate danger of dropping down any further but will hope to get nearer to Spezia in 17th, with four points separating the duo.

However, their record away to Napoli has been abysmal, with Verona last recording a victory in 1983. They have played 17 times since, recording 13 defeats and 4 draws. They come into this game with momentum from their most recent game, which turned into a victory over Sassuolo.

Federico Ceccherini’s equaliser sparked a comeback for Verona, who won it through a stoppage-time goal from substitute Adolfo Gaich. Marco Zaffaroni will certainly feel they will have their chances to get out of the relegation zone and will want his side to show consistency on the pitch, starting with league leaders Napoli.

Team News & Tactics


Luciano Spalletti will come into this contest hoping some of his fringe stars could take up the mantle. The big absence from recent weeks and for the game against Verona will be Victor Osimhen. The manager did confirm the Nigerian could become available for the return leg against Milan but will miss the weekend.

Giovanni Simeone was his direct replacement. But he, too, suffered an injury against Lecce last weekend. He remains out of the contest. Spalletti tried with Eljif Elmas on the wings and put Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in Osimhen’s role, which proved ineffective.

Spalletti could look to rest the Georgian for the Verona clash to keep him fresh for the Milan clash later in the week. Giacomo Raspadori could come into the side and lead the line. Hirving Lozano and Matteo Politano will provide support in the front three. In midfield, Spalletti will use Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who will not play in midweek.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Jesus, Kim, Rui; Elmas Lobotka, Anguissa; Lozano, Raspadori, Politano

Hellas Verona

Zaffaroni will be without Giangiacomo Magnani and Miguel Veloso for a visit to Napoli. The duo is absent through suspensions, with Pawel Dawidowicz and Adrien Tameze could replace them in the starting lineup. Teenage midfielders Ibrahim Sulemana and Thomas Henry remain unavailable through injury.

Match-winner against Sassuolo, Adolfo Gaich will have staked a claim to start after his stoppage-time goal last weekend. Meanwhile, Kevin Lasagna has scored four times previously against Napoli, but Gaich will likely take up a spot in the lineup.

Zaffaroni will stick with a back three and prefer a midfield four to start this game against Napoli. With Gaich leading the line for Verona, he will have two attackers behind in support. Those could well be Cyril Ngonge and Simone Verdi.

Probable lineup (3-4-2-1): Montipo; Dawidowicz, Hien, Ceccherini; Faraoni, Tameze, Duda, Doig; Verdi, Ngonge; Gaich

Key Stats

  • Napoli have won four of their last six Serie A games.
  • Napoli have not lost at home to Hellas Verona since 1983.
  • Napoli are 16 points ahead of second-placed Lazio in the Serie A table.
  • Hellas Verona are yet to win an away game in the 2022/23 season.
  • Hellas Verona have not won any of their last 15 away games, their worst run in 7 years.

Player to Watch

Hirving Lozano

Napoli desperately need an attacker to step up and bring the goods. In the absence of Victor Osimhen, they have recently struggled for relevance in front of goal, scoring only twice in three games. It has come at a cost, not in Serie A, but in the Champions League, after their narrow loss to Milan.

However, Luciano Spalletti will want to see one of his attackers, preferably Lozano, step up and show his worth in a difficult period. The manager would want to stay relaxed with their league status to get the focus and remain ready for the Milan second leg. Hence the Mexican international needs to put in a big performance against Verona.


Napoli 3-0 Hellas Verona

Napoli could come out of the blocks they have been in the last few weeks and have a smashing game at home. There is a sense of minor panic, mostly with the Champions League result. So Napoli could put in a performance to calm those jumpy nerves.

Hellas Verona come into this clash in a difficult position, with closing the gap on Spezia as their only real motivation. They will wonder if this is the right time or the worst period to face Napoli while remaining wary of their wounded opponents. Napoli will take three points and score at least three times to put their opponents to the sword.

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