Fiorentina vs Napoli
Italian Serie A.
Date: Thursday, 22 December 2016
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi (Florence).
A struggling Fiorentina could be up against it as they take on a free-scoring Napoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Thursday evening.
The Viola come into this game having lost their past two Serie A fixtures. That snapped a fledgling two game winning streak and now sees them quite a distance off a top five spot. In fact, heading into this round, Fiorentina sit in a disappointing seventh place, and there are rumors that Paulo Sousa’s job is again under threat. Finishing in seventh will mean that the Gigliati miss out on European football, something that will not be tolerated both among Fiorentina’s fans nor the club’s executive board.
Consistency is something that continues to elude them this term. The team have taken part in some entertaining games, namely that eight-goal thriller against Cagliari that saw them score five goals. However, they managed to ship three. And they recently ended up shipping three more as they were trounced 3-1 by Lazio.
Not exactly the best shape a Fiorentina fan will want to see his team in, especially considering the way Napoli have been scoring goals for fun. The Partenopei have netted a whopping 13 goals in just three games. Two of those resulted in shut-outs as they blitzed Inter 3-0 and crushed Cagliari 5-0. They come to Florence having beaten Torino 5-3, albeit Maurizio Sarri will not have been happy to see his team concede three goals. Especially after being 3-0 up heading into the half-time break.
Dries Mertens has excelled as a false no. 9, with seven out of Napoli’s ten goals from their past two games. He’s the first player since the 1970’s to score back-to-back hat-tricks in Serie A and surely will be relishing to add more to his rapidly growing tally on Thursday evening.
Fiorentina vs Napoli: Head-to-head statistics
- Fiorentina have a record of W6-D8-L6 in their last 20 home games against teams ranked above them in the table.
- The Viola are undefeated in their last 9 home matches.
- However, the Gigliati have won just one out of their last 12 meetings with Napoli (D5, L6).
- In addition, they have never been able to score more than one goal per game during that period.
- Napoli are undefeated in their last 8 away matches against Fiorentina in all competitions.
- The Partenopei have a record of W11-D4-L5 in their last 20 away games against teams ranked below them in the table.
- Napoli have scored at least three goals in their past three matches.
Fiorentina vs Napoli: Prediction
Napoli conceded three against Torino despite taking an early lead, so they clearly have not resolved all their defensive issues just yet. Meanwhile, Fiorentina are in bad shape and will need to overcome a very bad record against Napoli to get anything out of this fixture. However, the odds appear to be firmly in the visitors’ favor, who after some hiccups appear to be getting back on track.
Given that they have netted at least three goals in their past three games – including ten in just two – this looks like it could be an equally high-scoring encounter.
Fiorentina vs Napoli: Betting tips
Both Teams to Score and Napoli to win at 13/5 (3.60)
Over 2.5 goals at 7/10 (1.70).