Walter Mazzarri's side will be hopeful of closing the gap on leaders Milan while the Viola need a win to secure mid-table comfort...Consolidating Scudetto Hopes
Heading into Week 20, Napoli find themselves second in Serie A with 36 points from 19 matches, just four points behind leaders and Italian giants Milan. Last weekend's 4-4 draw between the Rossoneri and Udinese and their 3-0 defeat of Juventus in Naples saw the Azzurri step closer to the top.
Walter Mazzarri's side commenced the new year with a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Italian and European champions Inter at San Siro but bounced back last weekend with a 3-0 hammering of Juve, with star striker Edinson Cavani scoring all three goals. The Uruguay international forward now has 13 goals in 19 league appearances this season and is the top scorer in the division.
Napoli's stupendous form and consistency have inflated talks of a Scudetto triumph but Christian Maggio tempers their ambitions and claims that they would be satisfied with a top-four finish, explaining, "The Champions League is a great objective, it would mean us doing better than last year, but there is still plenty to go. The Scudetto? There is still time for this. It's nice to be in second, but we still have plenty to prove."
Fiorentina have began the new year on a very positive note as they have collected four points from a possible six in their last two games. The Viola's opening game of 2011 saw them draw 1-1 with Bologna away from home and last weekend they staged a magnificent comeback against Brescia as they rallied from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
That result means that Sinisa Mihajlovic's team are now 11th in the league standings with 23 points from 18 matches, five points above the dropzone. Dangers of getting sucked into the relegation quagmire still exists, but the form they are in at the moment should be a source of encouragement.
Fiorentina, though, haven't won on the road all season in the league and Mihajlovic knows that it would be tough for them in Naples against a side who have a certain Edinson Cavani. The Serbian defines the 23-year-old as "the best player in the league" and adds, "The best signing of the season until the weekend was Ibrahimovic, but after the three goals he scored against Juve, Cavani has overtaken him."
Marek Hamsik is suspended for Napoli, who are expected to line up in a 3-4-2-1 formation with Sosa and Lavezzi being deployed just behind Cavani in attack.
Vargas, Avramov, Natali, Cerci, Jovetic and Frey are injured and will miss the trip to Naples. Gilardino and Babacar will be the two forwards in a 4-4-2 formation.