SSC Napoli vs Atalanta BC: Preview and Prediction

Napoli and Atalanta will face off in a key clash at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium that will impact both sides’ European ambitions.

Defending champions SSC Napoli have had a season to forget and will welcome Atalanta BC to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium as both sides seek to secure European qualification for the next season.

As things stand, Atalanta are four points off fifth-placed AS Roma, while Napoli are a further two points behind. A spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League might be a bridge too far. But securing the fifth place will see either side qualify for the UEFA Europa League.

Napoli have an excellent home record against Atalanta and given that the visitors have a game in hand, it is imperative that the champions make the most of their historical advantage. Three points for either side on the night will see them cement the hold on sixth spot in Serie A, at least for the time being.

Francesco Calzona is Napoli’s third manager this season and appears to have steadied the sinking ship somewhat. While they are still miles off the side that won Serie A at a canter last season, Napoli have shown they still have it in them to salvage the season.

Gian Piero Gasperini also has concerns given his side’s four-game winless run in the league. A win this weekend will also help Atalanta keep pace with fourth-placed Bologna, within touching distance of a Champions League spot with 10 games left.

With the Coppa Italia semi-final and the UEFA Europa League quarter-final to look forward to, Atalanta are still fighting on multiple fronts. Napoli, however, have just the league to focus on, and it remains to be seen if that will spur them on this Saturday. The Hard Tackle takes a look at how both sides could line up for the game and their tactics.

Team News & Tactics


In-demand ace Victor Osimhen should return to action in what is a major boost for Napoli. The Nigerian striker has a solid record against La Dea, securing five goal contributions in five clashes against them.

Osimhen also played a key role in creating Napoli’s winner in the reverse fixture. With his future in Naples far from certain, this could be his last game against Atalanta in Gli Azzurri colours. The same cannot be said of his partner in crime.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia played 109 minutes in Georgia’s clash against Greece before being taken off with a groin injury. The best Napoli can hope is for him to make the bench on Saturday. Napoli look set to retain their trademark 4-3-3 formation with Alex Meret in goal. He should be protected by the backline of Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahmani, Juan Jesus and Mario Rui.

Stanislav Lobotka should act as the lynchpin in midfield, giving Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Hamed Traore the freedom to push forward. Star striker Victor Osimhen will lead the attack with Matteo Politano and Giacomo Raspadori on the wings.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Jesus, Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Traore; Politano, Osimhen, Raspadori

SSC Napoli vs Atalanta BC: Preview and Prediction.


Having not won any of their last four games in Serie A, the international break could not have come at a better time for La Dea. The visitors have a poor record away to Napoli and will look to overcome it on a night where they cannot afford to drop points.

However, they will have to do so without star midfielder Teun Koopmeiners and Charles De Ketelaere, both of who are nursing injuries. However, Ademola Lookman should be back, adding more impetus to Gian Piero Gasperini’s frontline.

Atalanta are expected to line up in their traditional 3-4-1-2 formation with the impressive Marco Carnesecchi in goal. He should be protected by the back three of Giorgio Scalvini, Berat Djimsiti and Sead Kolasinac.

Matteo Ruggeri and Emil Holm are expected to be deployed as the full-backs, with Ederson and Marten De Roon holding fort in the middle of the park. Aleksei Miranchuk should act as the number 10, with Ademola Lookman and Gianluca Scamacca leading the attack.

Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Carnesecchi; Scalvini, Djimsiti, Kolasinac; Holm, Ederson, De Roon, Ruggeri; Miranchuk, Lookman; Scamacca

Napoli and Atalanta will face off in a key clash that will impact both sides' European ambitions.

Key Stats

  • Napoli have won their last four games in Serie A against Atalanta, their longest winning run against La Dea in history.
  • Both clubs have drawn just one of their last 17 meetings in Napoli.
  • Napoli have won 35 of their 52 home games in Serie A against Atalanta. The Gli Azzurri have a better record only against Inter Milan in the top flight (38).
  • Napoli are currently unbeaten in their last six Serie A games, their longest unbeaten streak since February 2023.
  • A draw on the night will see Napoli draw three straight Serie A games for the first time since 2014.

Player to Watch

Victor Osimhen

Embed from Getty Images

The Nigerian ace is amongst the world’s most in-demand strikers, and his return will massively amplify Napoli’s offensive prowess. Add to it his impressive record against Atalanta and there are enough reasons to expect the Nigerian will be the difference maker on the night.

Osimhen did not just score his first goal for Napoli against Atalanta but has since continued to torment La Dea on a regular basis. He created the winning goal in the reverse fixture and will hope to ensure that lighting strikes twice this weekend. With Kvaratskhelia likely ruled out, the brunt of the attacking responsibility will fall on the 25-year-old’s shoulders.


Napoli 2-2 Atalanta

Both sides are far from their best and have key players missing for the clash. However, they are likely to approach the game with an attacking mindset, making for entertaining viewing. Given the tactics that both teams employ, a scoring draw appears to be the most likely outcome.

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