Napoli look for a win to stay at the second place in the Serie A table when they welcome Atalanta to the Stadio San Paolo on Monday night.
The Gli Azzurri could be dropped to third in the league standings at kick-off if Roma win against Genoa earlier that day and they must take all three points to retain their place. Napol’s last minute defeat against Roma last weekend has opened up an exciting race to the second spot in the league and both the teams will be looking to win all of their remaining three matches.
Atalanta are 13th in the league table and their form is not that bad at the moment and managed to avoid defeats in 5 of their last 6 matches. The team has little to play for but their head-coach Edoardo Reja will be relishing the impossible climb to the top half of the table.
Napoli lost 3 and won 2 of their last 5 matches in Serie A. They had failed to score in 2 of their last 3 matches, with one heavy 6-0 win against Bologna sandwiched between them.
Napoli’s home form is still formidable as they are unbeaten in the league this season, with 13 wins and 3 draws from the 16 matches so far. They have scored 3 or more goals in each of their last 4 home games.
Atalanta are unbeaten in their last three league matches and lost only once in their last 6. This is a considerable improvement in form for a team who were without a win in previous 14 matches.
Atalanta are a poor away side and haven’t won a match in their last 9. They have draws 2 and lost 2 in their last 4 away matches and conceded 2 goals each in their last 3.
Napoli vs Atalanta: Head-to-Head Stats
Two wins for Napoli in the last 5 meetings between the sides in Serie A, with two games ending in draws and Atalanta winning one.
Napoli are unbeaten in the last four home matches against Atalanta in all competitions, with 3 wins and a draw. However, Atalanta had held Napoli to a 1-1 draw in their last visit to the Stadio San Paolo.
This season’s first leg clash between the sides end in a 3-1 away win for Napoli, which also saw two red cards; Jorginho of Napoli and Gabriel Palleta of Atalanta were the players who got sent-off on the day.
Napoli: Team News
Maurizio Sarri has the luxury of a fully fit squad to choose from on Monday night. Gonzalo Higuain will lead the attack once again, with Dries Mertens and José Callejón being his designated deputies.
Napoli: Predicted Starting Line-up (4-3-3)
Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam
Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik
Callejon, Higuain, Mertens.
Atalanta: Team News
Alejandro Gomez will miss the remaining three games of the season through suspension.
Gabriel Palleta is carrying a one match ban, while Carlos Carmona and Mauricio Pinilla will miss the game through injuries.
Atalanta: Predicted Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Drame, Cherubin, Toloi, Masiello,
D’Alessandro, Kurtic, Diamanti,
Napoli vs Atalanta: Prediction
Napoli are on a poor run of form losing 3 of their last 6 matches, but they are extremely difficult to beat at home. They are unbeaten at San Paolo all season and won 13 out of 16 matches. The situation in the Serie A table demands them a win and they will be charged up to do so.
Atalanta are a poor away side and they have little chance to upset a high flying Napoli side. Moreover they are coming on the back of no pressure and will sit deep to frustrate their opposition.
My Prediction for this match is a 3-0 home win for Napoli and expect them to keep hold on to their second place in table even if Roma wins their match against Genoa on Monday.