When Napoli hosts Atalanta at Stadio Maradona on Saturday, they will be determined to get back to business as usual after suffering their first Serie A home loss of the year.
Napoli, the leading team in Serie A, suffered an unexpected defeat in their recent match against Lazio, despite winning their previous five away games without conceding a single goal. The home game against Lazio could have allowed Napoli to extend their lead in the league by 21 points and move closer to winning the Scudetto.
However, the match did not go as planned, as Lazio held them off in a tight contest for the first hour. Eventually, Napoli’s goalkeeper Alex Meret was beaten by Matias Vecino’s powerful strike from outside the box. Napoli could not respond, with their top scorer Victor Osimhen coming closest to scoring with scoring a header that hit the woodwork.
Napoli’s defeat was particularly disappointing, as it was their first loss since January. Before these recent setbacks, they had remained unbeaten against top-six opponents for five games.
Despite this defeat, Napoli still has an impressive league record of 21 wins from 25 fixtures and has scored a particular 58 goals while conceding just 16. They are also in contention to reach the quarter-finals of a European competition, which will further boost their impressive season so far.
Napoli Serie A Form: W W W W L
This Napoli side are among Serie A's all-time 𝗲𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗲 🇮🇹🔵⚡️ pic.twitter.com/UitlGCdi55
— LiveScore (@livescore) March 3, 2023
Atalanta’s recent run of form in Serie A has left them struggling to keep up with the top teams in the league, having only picked up one point in their last three games. This is part of a broader trend of three defeats from their previous five matches, which has left their hopes of returning to the Champions League in doubt.
Their recent goalless draw against Udinese at home was particularly disappointing, given Udinese’s recent struggles. Their Coppa Italia exit to Inter in January ended any hopes of winning that competition, and last year’s dip in form meant they missed out on European football altogether.
As the season enters its final third, Atalanta now finds themselves five points behind both Roma and Milan and will need to reverse their recent decline if they are to make up ground on their rivals. With their focus now solely on Serie A, Atalanta must find their form quickly to achieve their goals for the season.
Atlanta Serie A Form: L W L L D
Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti is facing a selection headache ahead of their next match due to the absence of the suspended Mario Rui, who was sent off in their previous game against Empoli.
Additionally, Hirving Lozano’s injury has further complicated matters for Spalletti, as the player is unlikely to feature in the upcoming fixture.
Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini has been dealt a blow ahead of their next game, as Teun Koopmeiners and Davide Zappacosta will be unavailable due to thigh strains.
The injuries to the two players will force Gasperini to change his lineup and tactics for the upcoming match.
Napoli’s predicted starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Rrahmani, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Atalanta’s predicted starting lineup:
Musso; Toloi, Demiral, Djimsiti; Maehle, De Roon, Ederson, Ruggeri; Boga; Lookman, Hojlund
Head to Head
Looking at the history of this fixture, Napoli has a slight advantage over Atalanta, having recorded 15 wins in their last 48 meetings.
On the other hand, Atalanta has managed to secure 13 wins during the same period, while ten matches have ended in draws.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 05:00 pm, UTC
Venue: Stadio Diego Armando Maradona stadium, Naples
The upcoming fixture between Napoli and Atalanta promises to be an exciting encounter, given the recent history of this fixture.
In the last 15 meetings between the two sides, only one match has ended in a draw, indicating that both teams will be looking for a win.
Napoli’s defeat to Lazio last weekend was a rare setback for them, but they will be eager to bounce back and continue their impressive home form. On the other hand, Atalanta will be looking to end their recent goal drought and get back to winning ways.