SERIE A WEEKEND PREVIEW: Napoli have perfect opportunity to end seven-match


Serie A returns this weekend after six clubs were involved in midweek matches in the Champions League and Europa League.

Italy‘s top clubs excelled in Europe. Inter Milan, Juventus and Atalanta all earned victories in the continent’s premier club competition, while Lazio and Roma both triumphed on Thursday night.

And Napoli earned a creditable 1-1 draw at Liverpool in their penultimate Group E game, giving them a fighting chance of qualifying for the knockout stages and  providing evidence that Carlo Ancelotti’s men are still a force to be reckoned with, despite ongoing chaos behind the scenes. 

Carlo Ancelotti observes the action during Napoli's Champions League draw with Liverpool

Carlo Ancelotti observes the action during Napoli’s Champions League draw with Liverpool

SERIE A FIXTURES 

SATURDAY 

Brescia vs Atalanta (2pm)

Genoa vs Torino (5pm) 

Fiornetina vs Lecce (7.45pm)  

SUNDAY 

Juventus vs Sassuolo (11.30am)

Lazio vs Udinese (2pm)

Inter Milan vs SPAL (2pm)

Parma vs AC Milan (2pm) 

Napoli vs Bologna (5pm) 

Verona vs Roma (7.45pm)  

MONDAY 

Cagliari vs Sampdoria (7.45m)

The Neapolitans host Bologna on Sunday looking to end a run of seven games without a win and a favourable fixture against 15th-placed opposition represents a fine opportunity to get back on track, on the pitch at least. 

The club’s players, supporters, manager and owner Aurelio De Laurentiis remain embroiled in a civil war which dates back to the 1-1 draw with Red Bull Salzburg on November 5.  

A win would have booked Napoli’s place in the knockout stages and kept them top of the group, but the result saw them overtaken by Liverpool for top spot after they beat Genk at Anfield. 

De Laurentiis organised the downbeat squad to go on a training retreat to Castel Volturno but Ancelotti’s players refused to go, opting to take their cars and drive home from the San Paolo Stadium.

Kalidou Koulibaly and Napoli are looking to end their winless run against Bologna this weekend

Kalidou Koulibaly and Napoli are looking to end their winless run against Bologna this weekend

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has been fining the club's disobedient players

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis has been fining the club’s disobedient players

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Lorenzo Insigne is the latest player to be fined. He has reportedly been deducted 300,000 euros – 50 per cent of his gross monthly income – and De Laurentis is seeking a total of 2.5million euros in reparations.

Bologna are themselves winless in four matches and have won just once on the road this term. Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side drew 2-2 at home to Parma last time out thanks to Blerim Dzemaili’s 95th-minute equaliser. 

Napoli showed similar stubbornness at Anfield on Wednesday evening. Dries Mertens used all of his experience to get the better of Virgil van Dijk and open the scoring on 21 minutes. 

Ancelotti could do with his star man bringing his barren run of seven league matches to an end if the crisis club are to pick up a first domestic win since October 19. 

Dries Mertens fires beyond Alisson Becker to give Napoli the lead against Liverpool

Dries Mertens fires beyond Alisson Becker to give Napoli the lead against Liverpool

In contrast, one striker in red hot form is Ciro Immobile. The marksman became the first player in Lazio’s history…



Read More:SERIE A WEEKEND PREVIEW: Napoli have perfect opportunity to end seven-match