Napoli are set to host Atalanta at the Stadio San Paolo on Saturday as Serie A action returns following the international break.
Napoli suffered a controversial loss to Juventus 10 days ago without stepping foot on the pitch. Napoli were blocked from travelling to Turin to face the Serie A champions due to two active coronavirus cases in their playing squad. Juventus arrived at the stadium though and were given a 3-0 victory under extraordinary circumstances.
To add insult to injury, Napoli were deducted one point for failing to turn up.
Atalanta, on the other hand, beat Cagliari 5-2 at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia nearly two weeks ago. Goals from Colombian international strikers Luis Muriel and Duvan Zapata, as well as strikes from Croatia international Mario Pasalic, captain Papu Gomez and Dutch attacker Sam Lammers, sealed a decisive victory for Gian Piero Gasperini's side.
Napoli vs Atalanta Head-to-Head
In 26 previous encounters between the two sides, the record is fairly even. Napoli have won 11 games, lost 10 and drawn five.
The most recent match between the two clubs was held this year, with Atalanta beating Napoli 2-0. Goals from Mario Pasalic and left-back Robin Gosens resulted in a victory for their club.
Napoli form guide in Serie A: W-W-L
Atalanta form guide in Serie A: W-W-W
Napoli vs Atalanta Team News
Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso will be unable to call upon the services of Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski and North Macedonia international Elif Elmas, who have both tested positive for coronavirus. There remain doubts over the availability of captain and winger Lorenzo Insigne.
Injured: Piotr Zielinski, Elif Elmas
Doubtful: Lorenzo Insigne
Meanwhile, Atalanta have a few injury concerns. Goalkeepers Marco Carnesecchi and Pierluigi Gollini, as well as centre-back Mattia Caldara, midfielder Matteo Pessina and right-back Cristiano Piccini are all out injured.
Injured: Marco Carnesecchi, Pierluigi Gollini, Mattia Caldara, Matteo Pessina, Cristiano Piccini
Napoli vs Atalanta Predicted XI
Napoli Predicted XI (4-3-3): Alex Meret, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Kostas Manolas, Kalidou Koulibaly, Elseid Hysaj, Diego Demme, Fabian Ruiz, Dries Mertens, Hirving Lozano, Victor Osimhen, Matteo Politano
Atalanta Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): Marco Sportiello, Berat Djimsiti, Cristian Romero, Jose Luis Palomino, Hans Hateboer, Marten de Roon, Mario Pasalic, Robin Gosens, Papu Gomez, Duvan Zapata, Luis Muriel
Napoli vs Atalanta Prediction
Napoli will not be happy with the Juventus result, having also had a point deducted over and above losing the game. Against Atalanta, much will depend on attackers Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens, while the absence of Piotr Zielinski could mean a chance for either Diego Demme or Stanislav Lobotka to feature.
Atalanta, on the other hand, are arguably the most exciting team in Serie A. They have strengthened well in the transfer window, and have enjoyed a perfect start to their league campaign, scoring 13 goals in their first three games.
Atalanta are in great form, and could edge past Napoli in this match.
Prediction: Napoli 1-3 Atalanta
Published 15 Oct 2020, 11:59 IST