AC Monza vs Napoli: Preview and Prediction

Mid-table AC Monza and reigning champions Napoli are separated by just one win in the Serie A table heading into this weekend’s action at U-Power Stadium.

Napoli will travel to the U-Power Stadium to take on mid-table Monza on Sunday afternoon in an attempt to rescue something from their terrible Serie A championship defence.

The Partenopei were beaten 3-0 at home by Atalanta in Serie A last weekend, as the Italian champions lost further ground in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification. Goals from Aleksei Miranchuk, Gianluca Scamacca, and Teun Koopmeiners meant Napoli ended a six-match unbeaten streak under interim manager Francesco Calzona and dropped to eighth place.

The result practically ended any residual hopes Napoli had of qualifying for the Champions League, with Bologna currently 12 points ahead of the reigning champions. So, it is hardly surprising they were loudly jeered off the field at the final whistle.

Having already been dumped out of both the Coppa Italia and Champions League, their only area of concern is Serie A, and Calzona’s side can ill-afford too many more slip-ups in the weeks ahead. Like Napoli, Monza slumped to a defeat last weekend, going down 1-0 to Torino as captain Matteo Pessina was sent off halfway through the second period.

Nonetheless, the Biancorossi have followed up their stellar Serie A debut with another impressive campaign, and they sit in 11th place in the standings with only eight games remaining on the fixture list. Monza have won four of their last six matches, and they are now aiming for a first top-half finish. A win here could take the hosts level on points with their esteemed visitors.

Team News & Tactics

AC Monza

AC Monza boss Raffaele Palladino will be unable to call upon captain Matteo Pessina this weekend due to his dismissal against Torino. In addition to their captain’s suspension, the hosts are missing several injured players.

Danilo D’Ambrosio (thigh) is doubtful, while Gianluca Caprari and Samuele Vignato (muscle) are missing because of injuries. Another confirmed absentee is Papu Gomez, due to an extended doping suspension. Warren Bondo returns from suspension due to yellow card accumulation, and will be a straight swap for suspended Pessina in midfield alongside Roberto Gagliardini on Saturday.

A 4-2-3-1 formation should be the formation for the hosts, with Michele Di Gregorio starting in goal. He should be protected by the backline of Samuele Birindelli, Pablo Mari, Armando Izzo, and Andrea Carboni.

Andrea Colpani and Danny Mota should function as the wingers, with Milan Djuric leading the attack. However, Daniel Maldini carries the ultimate threat, having scored three times and set up another in the last six Serie A games.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Di Gregorio; Birindelli, Mari, Izzo, Andrea Carboni; Gagliardini, Bondo; Colpani, Maldini, Mota; Djuric


Napoli forwards Cyril Ngonge and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have returned to full training this week and should be available on Sunday. “Kvaradona” has been struggling with a groin injury sustained on Georgia duty. But he will reclaim his starting position in attack straightaway here.

Talismanic forward Victor Osimhen will be aiming to avoid a first four-game goal drought in Serie A since 2022 when he leads the line for Napoli against Monza. Matteo Politano could be confirmed on the right-wing.

Calzona is expected to field a 4-3-3 formation, with first-choice Alex Meret starting in goal despite boasting the 15th-lowest save percentage in the division (65%). He will be protected by the back four of Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Juan Jesus, Amir Rrahmani, and Mateus Olivera.

The midfield will be anchored by Stanislav Lobotka, with support from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Hamed Traore, who will be aiming to make effective late darts into the opponent’s penalty area to provide an additional goal-scoring threat.

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

Key Stats

  • Monza are unbeaten in seven of their last nine Serie A matches (W5 D2).
  • Monza have lost just one of their last five Serie A matches at home.
  • Napoli have failed to win eight of their last ten matches in all competitions.
  • The visitors have won just two of their last eight Serie A games (D4 L2).
  • Napoli have lost four and drawn three of their last eight league games on the road.

Player to Watch

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Embed from Getty Images

Despite Napoli enduring a disastrous season, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has shone in fits and starts and led the way in the champions’ scoring charts this season, netting 10 times so far. His return to the starting lineup will be a huge boost for Napoli this weekend. If the Partenopei are to secure a Europa League spot this season, they need Osimhen and “Kvaradona” firing on all cylinders in the home straight of the campaign.


AC Monza 1-1 Napoli

Napoli’s interim manager, Francesco Calzona, had somewhat steadied the ship ahead of the recent international break. But events last week further dented the champions’ chances of securing a spot in the UEFA Champions League. Not to mention, their morale is at an all-time low right now.

Aside from their size, there has been little to distinguish these clubs in Serie A this season, as both Monza and Napoli have been erratic and are slowly settling for mid-table obscurity, which indicates a low-scoring stalemate could be in store.

Napoli’s propensity for sharing the spoils under Calzona is a potentially ominous sign for the visitors, considering another draw could significantly derail Partenopei’s chances of closing the gap on Roma.

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