Scudetto holders Napoli will aim to go level on points at the top with Milan when they face an out-of-sorts Lazio side tonight at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Napoli approach this match on the back of a 2-0 victory against Sassuolo which saw them secure 2nd place in the league standings for the time being. Victor Osimhen’s spot kick and Giovanni Di Lorenzo’s bottom corner finish after an exquisite piece of work by Khvicha Kvaratskhelia earned the Partenopei all three points.
Rudi Garcia has been able to pick up this Napoli right from where they left last season and the opening game against newly promoted Frosinone was an example of that. Abdou Harroui did gave the hosts an early lead that day but the visitors were clinical enough to control the match and come back through Matteo Politano and Victor Osimhen to win the day.
Meanwhile, Lazio have endured a frustrating start to the new season as they have lost their opening two fixtures, sending them right to the relegation zone of the table. Maurizio Sarri felt shocked after his team’s breakdown in their season opener against Lecce. While Ciro Immobile’s 26th-minute goal seemed to be enough to put the Biancocelesti across the finishing line, late drama ensued as the Apulia-based club overturned the deficit through Pontus Almqvist and Federico Di Francesco to steal the win.
Lazio failed to make a mark in their previous game against newly promoted Genoa as Mateo Retegui’s goal helped the visitors grab all three points. Last season’s runners-up have found it hard to maintain momentum and nerve in the early performances of this season and Sarri will aim to shake off his recent downtrend in form and get back to winning ways.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions:
W W W W W
L L W L L
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia showcased his ability in Napoli’s last match against Sassuolo as he did a piece of excellent dribbling to set up Di Lorenzo’s goal. The Georgian is expected to make his first start of the season tonight after returning to full fitness.
Jesper Lindstrom is predicted to make an appearance at some point during the match.
As for Lazio, Ciro Immobile will continue to lead the attack. Matteo Guendouzi joined from Marseille last week and is set to start the game.
Pedro and Elseid Hysaj will remain out of the game with ankle and Achilles injuries respectively.
Napoli (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Jesus, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Politano, Osimhen, Raspadori
Lazio (4-3-3): Provedel; Lazzari, Casale, Romagnoli, Marusic; Kamada, Cataldi, Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN