Napoli will be keen to build upon their comeback against AC Milan when they face Salernitana on Saturday night

Defending champions Napoli will travel to the Stadio Arechi to take on minnows Salernitana in the Serie A clash on Saturday afternoon.

Rudi Garcia’s men fought back from two goals down last weekend against AC Milan. They will now hope to continue that momentum and close the gap to the top of the Italian top-flight rankings.

Napoli are currently seven points off early trend-setters Inter Milan and face a real fight to retain the Scudetto. The game against bottom-placed Salernitana gives them the opportunity to close the gap to the top and kick-start momentum that can help them rise up the standings.

The home side, however, have other concerns and will hope to secure their first win of the 2023/24 Serie A campaign. I Granata remain just one of two teams to win a game in the Italian top flight this campaign.

Filippo Inzaghi’s start to life at the Italian giants has been uneventful as they have struggled to get games over the line. A surprise win on the night will not just get them out of their rut but will also see Inzaghi do his brother Simone, the Inter boss, a favour in the race for the title.

In many ways, both clubs are in massive need of three points on the night. It should prove to be an interesting game indeed. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on Sunday and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

US Salernitana 1909

Wholesale changes are not anticipated from Filippo Inzaghi, with veteran defender Federico Fazio the only unavailable injured for the game. Salernitana will be hurting by their winless streak and will now hope that they can pull off a sensational shock on Saturday.

The home side will also be without Norbert Gyomber who picked up his fifth yellow of the domestic season against Genoa. Inzaghi has an otherwise fully available squad to choose from.

Salernitana is likely to retain their 3-4-2-1 formation, with Guillermo Ochoa in goal. He should be protected by the back three of Matteo Lovato, Flavius Daniliuc and Lorenzo Pirola.

Pasquale Mazzocchi and Domagoj Bradaric should provide the width, with Lassana Coulibaly and Giulio Maggiore providing the muscle in the centre. The latter duo could drop back to form a back five if the Napoli attack proves difficult to contain.

Antonio Candreva and Jovane Cabral should provide the attacking thrust, with this season’s top scorer Boulaye Dia leading the line. The Senegalese star scored last time out against Napoli as Salernitana held the then-incumbent champions to a 1-1 draw.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Ochoa; Lovato, Daniliuc, Pirola; Bradaric, Coulibaly, Maggiore, Mazzocchi; Candreva, Cabral; Dia

US Salernitana 1919 vs SSC Napoli Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

SSC Napoli

Napoli did well to come back against AC Milan last time, out but their slow starts remain a concern for Rudi Garcia and his staff. Now back on the road, the defending champions will be keen to extend their good form away from the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

Defender Natan is suspended and misses out, while star striker Victor Osimhen is still out injured. Garcia has an otherwise fully-fit squad to choose from.

The visitors are expected to retain their 4-3-3 formation, with Alex Meret starting in goal behind the back four of Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahmani, Leo Ostigard and Mathias Olivera. Stanislav Lobotka should start as the number six in midfield, with Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Piotr Zielinski flanking him.

In Osimhen’s absence, Giacomo Raspadori should get the nod upfront, while Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will reprise his role on the left flank, with Matteo Politano on the other wing.

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

US Salernitana 1919 vs SSC Napoli Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

Key Stats

  • Napoli have never lost to Salernitana in Serie A. In fact, the run of six games without a loss pales only in comparison to Napoli’s 26-game unbeaten record against Cesena (26).
  • Salernitana’s last league win against Napoli came in 2002 when both clubs were in Serie B.
  • Salernitana have failed to find the back of the net against Napoli in consecutive league games since 1947.
  • Failing to win on Saturday will see Salernitana set their longest run of games in Serie A without a victory (12).
  • Napoli have scored 12 goals away from home in Serie A this season, more than nay other side in the Italian top flight in 2023/24.

Player to Watch

Giacomo Raspadori

Embed from Getty Images

With Victor Osimhen absent, Napoli need a reliable player who can lead the line. While Giovanni Simeone is an option, Giacomo Raspadori should get the nod given his performance against Milan.

The Italian international is a handful on his day and is also someone open to putting in the hard work. This should give the likes of Politano and Kvaratskhelia the space needed to get upfield and cause havoc.


US Salernitana 0-2 SSC Napoli

Salernitana will have their work cut out against Napoli and go into the game as underdogs. The home side have struggled to score goals this season and it is unlikely to change on the night. Napoli will hope for a quick start and are expected to come away with all three points on the night.

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