Udinese vs. NapoliBy: Neil | February 24th, 2013
Udinese have only lost 7 matches all season, the same number as AC Milan, Lazio, and Fiorentina. And at the Stadio Friuli they’ve only lost once in 12 matches. It’s really their road form which is keeping them down the table in 9th place. So this is comparable to the Parma match where Napoli have to find a way to win in an arena where almost nobody has won this season (Parma have now lost another at home.) Oh, and just four days later there’s the game of the season against Juventus. If Napoli can only draw against Udinese, they will enter Friday’s game six points back of Juve, which at this point in the season would make Friday a must win game. This could be the defining week of Napoli’s season for better or worse.
Pandev is a diffidato, and Mazzarri would like him available for Juventus. So look for Insigne to start this one and Pandev to come off the bench if needed. Otherwise it’s a full starting lineup with Zuniga favoured over Armero.
De Sanctis – Campagnaro, Canna, Britos – Maggio, Inler, Behrami, Zuniga – Hamsik – Cavani, Insigne
Napoli has just one competition left, Serie A, and only 13 matches left in until the summer break. This is crunch time, and expect nothing to be held back, even with Juve waiting with one more day’s rest. The big question is can Napoli’s offence wake up after scoring just once in the last four games? (and it was a defender’s goal, Hugo Boss against Lazio)
I’m guessing we will see Napoli’s offence come to life; whether it results in goals is anybody’s guess. Udinese are stingy at home and I just can’t see this one turning into a high scoring affair. But I am predicting at least one Napoli goal.
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