Napoli - Udinese Preview: Partenopei aim to keep pace at the top of Serie A
Walter Mazzarri rested a few players for their Europa League clash midweek against PSV and he now hopes that rotation will pay dividends for the visit of the Bianconeri on Sunday
By William Shand
Campagnaro, Gamberini, Aronica
Maggio, Inler, Hamsik, Behrami, Zuniga
Benatia, Danilo, Coda
Basta, Pereyra, Pinzi, Lazzari, Pasquale
Di Natale, Ranegie
Following their midweek defeat at the hands of PSV Eindhoven, Napoli will look to return to winning ways as they host Udinese in a potentially tricky post-Europa League fixture.
Having rested nearly his entire first team in midweek, Napoli head coach Walter Mazzarri will be afforded the luxury of rotating his squad. With no injury concerns, the only notable absence will be the suspended Paolo Cannavaro, with Alessandro Gamberini replacing the club captain at the heart of the Partenopei defence.
Udinese, meanwhile, will hope that a memorable 3-2 victory over Liverpool will provide the impetus for an improvement in domestic form. In contrast to their opponents, head coach Francesco Guidolin chose to name a strong team in midweek and will be understandably wary of player fatigue.
With few injury concerns (only Maurizio Domizzi and Luis Muriel are unavailable for selection), the Bianconeri will hope that the talismanic Antonio Di Natale will be able to replicate his midweek magic and put their more fancied opponents to the sword.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Napoli are unbeaten this season, with five wins from six games.
Edinson Cavani is currently the top scorer in Serie A with six goals.
- Napoli have twice won Serie A, with their most recent triumph coming in the 1989-90 season.
- Udinese, by contrast, have managed only one league win this season and currently lie in 15th place.
Udinese were founded in 1896 and, after Genoa, are Italy’s oldest club.
Despite this, Udinese have never won a Serie A title.
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Top 3 Predictions
SSC Napoli 2-0 Udinese
- 18.34 %
SSC Napoli 2-1 Udinese
- 12.8 %
SSC Napoli 3-1 Udinese
- 12.46 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Dec 7, 2013||SSC Napoli 3 - Udinese 3|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Feb 25, 2013||Udinese 0 - SSC Napoli 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 7, 2012||SSC Napoli 2 - Udinese 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Mar 18, 2012||Udinese 2 - SSC Napoli 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 26, 2011||SSC Napoli 2 - Udinese 0|
|Dec 15, 2013||SSC Napoli 4 - FC Internazionale 2||ITA1|
|Dec 11, 2013||SSC Napoli 2 - Arsenal 0||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||SSC Napoli 3 - Udinese 3||ITA1|
|Dec 2, 2013||Lazio 2 - SSC Napoli 4||ITA1|
|Nov 26, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 3 - SSC Napoli 1||UCL|
|26||Morgan De Sanctis||Goalkeeper|
|7||Omar El Kaddouri||Midfielder|
|10||Antonio Di Natale||Striker|
|10||Paulo Vitor Barreto||Striker|
After a disappointing Olympics, the Uruguayan striker has rediscovered his best form and has shown the same prolific instinct in front of goal that he has demonstrated since signing from Palermo prior to the 2010/11 season. Having been rested midweek, the 25-year-old will be fresh and ready to add to his already significant goals haul. With six goals from six league games, it is clear that Edinson Cavani is central to any designs Napoli have on ending their 23-year wait for a Serie A championship
|Antonio Di Natale|
Like a fine wine, the 34 year old striker seems to get better with age. Having scored 23 league goals last year (and finishing Serie A top scorer the two seasons prior to this), Udinese’s club captain has been instrumental in the Bianconeri’s rise to the brink of Champions League qualification. Having already scored two goals in three Serie A matches this season, Di Natale shows no signs of slowing down and will be anxious to catapult Udinese towards the upper echelons of the Serie A table.