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Serie A

  • December 11, 2010
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genova
  • Referee: C. Brighi
  • • Attendance: 24288
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Serie A Preview: Genoa - Napoli

Serie A Preview: Genoa - Napoli

Walter Mazzarri's side will aim to close the gap between themselves and league leaders Milan...

Recovery In Progress

Former Lazio coach Davide Ballardini seems to be weaving a new era at Genoa as the Grifone are going from strength to strength. The former Italian champions were struggling when Ballardini took over but they are now back in contention for a European place.

Last weekend's 3-1 victory over Lecce away from home was the Rossoblu's third in Serie A under the 46-year-old and their fourth in all competitions. It kept them in ninth place in the table but inched them to just two points off a Europa League place.

Genoa have lost just one competitive match since Ballardini became in charge of the first team and that was against rejuvenated Juventus. However, the former Italian champions have a rather poor record at home as they have lost three of their seven league matches at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris so far this campaign.

Genuine European Contenders


Since Walter Mazzarri took over the coaching responsibilities at San Paolo in October 2009 Napoli have gone from strength to strength. Last season the Partenopei missed a place in the top four in Serie A but this campaign they are in full throttle to accomplishing just that.

After 15 round of matches, Napoli are currently fourth in the league table with 27 points. Mathematically it's not improbable that the Azzurri can launch a Scudetto challenge as they are just three points behind Lazio, who are second, and six behind leaders Milan.

On Monday night the former Italian champions registered an encouraging 1-0 win against fellow Champions League contenders Palermo in Naples and will be confident going into Saturday night's encounter against Genoa. Interestingly, the Neapolitans have won half of their away games in the league and this will only inflate their confidence.

TEAM NEWS

Genoa


Sculli, Kaladze and Palacio are injured and will miss the visit of Napoli. The Grifone will follow a 4-3-1-2 system that will see Kharja playing behind Palladino and Toni as the creator-in-chief.

Napoli

Lucarelli, Gianello and Lavezzi are injured and will miss the trip to Genoa while Grava is suspended. Mazzarri will deploy a 3-4-2-1 system that will have Cavani as the targetman with Hamsik and Sosa as the creative midfielders behind him.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-EduardoGoalkeeper
13RafinhaMidfielder
13Andrea RanocchiaDefender
3Dario DainelliDefender
4Domenico CriscitoDefender
-Marco RossiMidfielder
-Omar MilanettoMidfielder
4Miguel VelosoMidfielder
-Houssine KharjaMidfielder
17Raffaele PalladinoStriker
9Luca ToniStriker
-Alessio ScarpiGoalkeeper
24Emiliano MorettiDefender
4ChicoDefender
11Bosko JankovicStriker
16Giandomenico MestoMidfielder
-Gergely RudolfStriker
22Mattia DestroStriker
26Morgan De SanctisGoalkeeper
14Hugo CampagnaroDefender
-Paolo CannavaroDefender
-Salvatore AronicaDefender
11Christian MaggioMidfielder
5Walter GarganoMidfielder
24Michele PazienzaMidfielder
3Andrea DossenaDefender
18Camilo ZúñigaDefender
9Edinson CavaniStriker
17Marek HamsikMidfielder
-Gennaro IezzoGoalkeeper
-CribariDefender
-Fabiano SantacroceDefender
-Luigi VitaleMidfielder
19Hassan YebdaMidfielder
11José SosaMidfielder
-Nicolao DumitruStriker
Players to Watch
Luca Toni
Luca Toni
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
34 20 4 0
Luca Toni was on target against Lecce last weekend and has found the net three times in Serie A and has provided three assists too. The veteran Italian striker's stature and experience will be crucial in combating against a Napoli back-three.
Edinson Cavani
Edinson Cavani
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Edinson Cavani has been in superb form for Napoli and has banged in the goals both in Serie A and in the Europa League. The Uruguay international forward will again have to be at the forefront of Napoli's attack; his runs, shooting skills and positional sense will put the Genoa defence into a fix.
Prediction
Genoa will be no pushovers as under Davide Ballardini the Grifone have recovered their winning mentality. However, Napoli have a strong record on the road and will manage a draw in the least.

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Editor's Prediction
Genoa 1
Napoli 1

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