Napoli vs Sassuolo Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

The Stadio Maradona will play host to Sassuolo as Napoli will aim to continue their perfect start to the Serie A title defence.

Napoli, who face Sassuolo on Sunday, started their title defence against Serie B champions Frosinone and soon went a goal behind. The idea of losing to the newly-promoted side would have seemed catastrophic. But Rudi Garcia will have put his entire faith in the quality of his squad, and they repaid it well.

A brace from star man Victor Osimhen and another strike from Matteo Politano ensured Napoli kicked off their season with three points and now will look forward to the challenge ahead. The champions will now face Sassuolo in what’s deemed a tough clash for the Neopolitans at the very beginning of the season.

Some eyebrows were raised at Napoli’s appointment of Rudi Garcia following the departure of Luciano Spalletti. But the Frenchman has been bright at the start. It is a massive task for the new manager to maintain the standards set last season, and the Sassuolo clash will have a more significant bearing in this context.

Meanwhile, there were contrasting fortunes for visitors Sassuolo, who suffered defeat at the hands of Atalanta and ended the game without scoring any goals. Strikes from Charles De Ketelaere and Nadir Zortea late in the game proved disappointing for the home side, who will want to start getting points on board.

Alessio Dionisi will have pressure on his shoulders to bring some good performances this season. A 13th-placed finish last season does not help with their fans’ dream to bring some success to the side, although their precise aim should be a top-half finish at the very least.

Sassuolo face another test at the start of the season, as they will now face Napoli in a problematic opening draw. The manager must galvanise his side to produce a memorable performance and possibly do something they did for extensive periods against Atalanta.

Team News & Tactics


Rudi Garcia received a massive boost to his setup as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia could return to the setup after missing out in the first game through a minor injury. With the Georgian a sure starter in this lineup, Giacomo Raspadori will likely make way for the attacker.

Garcia will set up a solid team, essentially unchanged, apart from the incoming Kvaratskhelia. At the back, Alex Meret will continue to keep his place between the sticks, with a back four of Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahamani, Juan Jesus and Mathias Olivera lining up in front of him.

Stanislav Lobotka will continue to operate at the base of the midfield three, although Garcia will want a structured partnership. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa will feature on the right side of the midfield, with Piotr Zielinski on the left-hand side. Up front, with Kvaratskhelia, the Napoli front line looks much more daunting, alongside star man Osimhen and Matteo Politano.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Jesus, Olivera, Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia


Alessio Dionisi will hope the speculation surrounding star man Domenico Berardi ends soon, although he might remain out of contention at least until the transfer window shuts.

Only Augustin Alvarez remains sidelined with an injury issue, but Sassuolo could welcome Juan after his suspension. Whether he starts is another question, as Sassuolo may not make many changes to the lineup to face Napoli.

Summer signing Samuele Mulattieri competes with Andrea Pinamonti to start up front, although the latter will likely get the nod. Maxime Lopez seems settled in central midfield after a good display against Atalanta at the opening weekend.

Pinamonti will have the company of fellow attackers Gregoire Defrel and Armand Lauriente, who will take up the wing positions. Nedim Bajrami will act as the chief creator in this attacking setup.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Toljan, Erlic, Viti, Vina; Lopez, Henrique, Defrel, Bajrami, Lauriente; Pinamonti

Key Stats

  • Napoli have been winning at both half-time and full-time in six of their last seven home matches against Sassuolo in all competitions.
  • Napoli have won six of their last seven home matches against Sassuolo in all competitions.
  • Napoli have scored at least two goals in their last five matches against Sassuolo in all competitions.
  • Napoli only lost twice at home last season.
  • Sassuolo are winless in their last seven Serie A matches.

Player to Watch

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Embed from Getty Images

The Georgian wizard will finally make his bow this season after missing out on the first game with a minor injury. The prospect of fielding Kvaratskhelia alongside Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano will have Rudi Garcia excited, with the winger likely to want to kick-start his campaign with a goal.

He will have plenty of work ahead this season as Napoli faces the daunting task of retaining their Serie A crown. If Osimhen is the star presence here, then Kvaratskhelia is equally important for Napoli this season on all fronts, and the Georgian will have to kick-start with a bang.


Napoli 2-0 Sassuolo

Sassuolo may have suffered a late defeat against Atalanta in the opening game, but their performances may have given the manager some confidence heading into the season. But facing two top-six sides in the opening two matches will have some effect on their performances.

Napoli picked up where they left off last season and began the season with a bang with a win. Now, it is time for Rudi Garcia to flex his muscles and bring about consistent results for the champions. Sassuolo may suffer defeat in that quest, with Napoli likely to keep a clean sheet in this clash.

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