Udinese VS Napoli Prediction
Napoli cannot boast with their record from previous visits to Udine, but Maurizio Sarri’s side will look for revival when on Saturday evening Udinese takes on “Partenopei” for a game from round 13 in Serie A. Both sides are renewing their Calcio campaign after the two-weeks break for international football and Napoli will be keen to end its poor form. However, if guests from Naples want to close that frustrating chapter of their 2016-17 season, they’ll have to put an end of a very poor away record, containing 4 wins for Udinese and 4 draws in their last matches on the “Stadio Friuli”.
Udinese vs Napoli – Team News and Match Preview
Napoli’s last success in Udine, which is also their only one in the 21st century, remains more than 9 years ago. That happened on 2 September 2007 when Edy Reja’s Napoli won 0-5 in its first Serie A season, after serious spell in lower divisions of Italian football, but the squad was really ambitious and players like Paolo Cannavaro, Walter Gargano, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marcelo Zalayeta were part from that squad. Captain Marek Hamsik was also part from that team, in his first year at “Stadio San Paolo”, making him the only player from current Napoli selection who knows what’s winning in Udine with the blue jersey.
“The Zebrette” come into this round apparently having brought different light of their season. Since losing 1-2 to Juventus after the international break in October, they have built up a four-match undefeated run, although they couldn’t reach to keeping a clean sheet in any of them. However, Luigi Del Neri’s appointment seems to be finally taking its root, but it will be more from interesting to follow Udinese’s performance here. They will challenge a somehow weakened, but still unpredictable Napoli side, after two wins and two draws in their last four Serie A fixtures.
Udinese vs Napoli – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
All positive results in the last month came right on time to increase Udinese’s confidence and team can play with more composure. They now have 15 points which places them on the 13th position, but “Bianconeri Friuliani” are with 8 points above the relegation zone and they can enter into that game without any additional pressure. Not at all, even one of the goal scorers has an extra boost for that game. Colombian striker Duvan Zapata, who’s on loan exactly from Napoli, can use that game to prove Napoli were wrong and decision to leave him on a loan out was a clear mistake.
That comes exactly in period when Napoli suffers from lack of typical striker and this will continue in next weeks, since Arkadiusz Milik’s injury was a huge blow towards Napoli’s Scudetto hopes. Polish striker will be out for some serious time and his absence leaves Manolo Gabbiadini only one central forward in Maurizio Sarri’s selection. Gabbiadini still fails to justify his transfer to Napoli, which happened long-time ago to be honest, so if he doesn’t show something else in following weeks, we believe his days in Naples are done. Anyway, the 24-year-old striker remains a doubt and this may once again require Napoli to play with a “false nine” on top of their 4-3-3 formation. Dries Mertens looks as a potential starter on top, being supported by José Callejón and Emanuele Giaccherini through the wings. Latter can be hidden ace for Sarri in that moment, as Italian coach should also think forward to the upcoming Champions League battle against Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday night, which can be crucial for Napoli’s Round of 16 position.
Udinese are ready and with full squad available, as only defender Thomas Heurtaux remains a doubt, but anyway, he’s far from being that constant first-team player we all know.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Napoli remains sixth in Serie A and “The Partenopei” are winless in their last three games on all fronts. Starting with a defeat by Juventus, Napoli drew with Besiktas in Turkey and also slipped in its last home match against Lazio (1-1), right prior the break. This puts guests from Naples in an unenviable position and pressure will be fully upon them, even though they’re favourites for winning of that game.
On other turn we have Udinese, who play their best football so far in the season. When we add their superb home record against Napoli, situation for the away team becomes even more complicated.
Thus we fancy betting on goals for both sides, as this seems to be most reasonable prediction for that game, in our opinion. “Both teams to score – Yes“.
Venue: “Dacia Arena” (Stadio Friuli), Udine.
Referee: Luca Banti.
Possible starting lineups of Udinese and Napoli
Udinese Calcio: Orestis Karnezis – Felipe, Danilo, Molla Wague, Silvan Widmer – Emmanuel Badu, Sven Kums, Seko Fofana – Rodrigo de Paul – Cyril Théreau, Duvan Zapata. (4-3-1-2)
SSC Napoli: Pepe Reina – Faouzi Ghoulam, Raúl Albiol, Kalidou Koulibaly, Elseid Hysaj – Piotr Zielinski, Allan, Marek Hamsik – Dries Mertens, Emanuele Giaccherini, Jose Callejon. (4-3-3)