The upcoming Serie A weekend is full of delicious fixtures, with Atalanta against Napoli as the starter on Saturday evening. Napoli travel to Bergamo as Serie A leaders, with home side Atalanta being their closest competitor.
Napoli are on an impressive streak in Serie A. The Partenopei are still undefeated and the last time they dropped points was against Lecce on the 31st of August (1-1). However, Napoli suffered their first Champions League defeat against Liverpool on Tuesday (2-0). Luciano Spalletti’s side will be keen to show that that loss was just an incident. Napoli still finished first in their Champions League group, with 15 out of a maximum 18 points.
After losing to Lazio two weeks ago, Atalanta got back to winning ways last Sunday. They won against Empoli with goals from Ademola Lookman and Hans Hateboer. Gasperini’s men don’t have any midweek football, which could prove to be in their advantage. The gap between the Nerazzurri and Napoli is only 5 points, so a win on Sunday could heat up the title race before the World Cup break.
Even though Napoli lost this week, their form can still be considered strong. It goes without saying that a win in a weekend where lots of top teams play each other would be big for the visitors. Atalanta will draw hope from the fact that Napoli lost midweek and do everything they can to hand the Partenopei their first Serie A loss.
Results in the last five matches in all competitions:
Luis Muriel is the big absentee for Atalanta on Saturday due to a tendon injury. The Colombian has one goal and two assists in nine matches this season. Zappacosta and De Roon are also not fit. Giorgio Scalvini went off injured against Empoli, but should be ready to go from the start at the Gewiss Stadium. According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Højlund is the favourite to start over Zapata.
Napoli received a big blow for tomorrow’s fixture. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who already had an awful week after his car was stolen on Wednesday, will miss the game against Atalanta due to lower back pain. The Georgian has taken the Serie A by storm and already has eleven goal contributions in Italy’s top flight. Giacomo Raspdori is expected to replace him. Apart from Kvaratskhelia, Napoli’s squad is pretty complete. Only Rrahmani is still out due to a groin injury.
Atalanta’s predicted XI vs. Napoli:
Musso; Toloi, Demiral, Djimsiti; Hateboer, Koopmeiners, Scalvini, Pasalic, Maehle; Lookman, Højlund
Napoli’s predicted XI vs. Atalanta:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Juan Jesus, Mario Rui; Zambo Anguissa, Zielinski, Lobotka; Lozano, Osimhen, Raspadori.
Jurre van Wanrooij | GIFN