Preview and Prediction
Il Partenopei is racing against the time for reaching the top four in the standing so that they could qualify to the Champions League. With a ticket to Europa League on hand after winning Coppa Italia this month, this is the time to aim higher. This midweek, they will be taking on one of the most improving teams in the past three seasons, Atalanta. It is definitely a battle of two offensive rivals.
The teams’ previous matches
Alejandro Gomez and Co once again entertained their fans with a goal galore last week. This time they thumped Udinese 3-2. Duvan Zapata took the lead first but Kevin Lasagna equalised. At the second half, it was his Colombian fellow, Luis Muriel, who got the turn to score a brace by long range strikes before Kevin Lasagna completed his brace before the final whistle.
Napoli endured their positive form last week after crushing Spal 3-1. Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon and Amin Younes scored the winning goals. They only conceded once as Andrea Petagna found the back of the net.
Gian Piero Gasperini has always been in favour of three-defender system such as 3-4-1-2 or 3-4-2-1. He relies on the Slovenian Josip Illicic and the Colombian internationals Luis Muriel or Duvan Zapata as the dynamic duo upfront with Papu Gomez behind them. Gasperini’s best starting IX would not be affected even if Ruslan Malinovsky is suspended as he has more than enough versatile midfielders in the squad.
Meanwhile, Gennaro Gattusso will stick to his 4-3-3 formation but he might be rotating his squads considering the fact that there are plenty of young talents waiting to be given more chance on the pitch such as Hirving Lozano. Matteo Politano or Amin Younes. The former one might be opted for the starting IX along with Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens.
Players to watch
The captain Alejandro Gomez has been the inseparable key figures in Atalanta all these years. This season, as a playmaker, the Argentine has scored six goals and provided fourteen assists so far. Some other notable names for this upcoming match are Luis Muriel with his fifteen goals in Serie A, the German winger Robin Gosens and the Slovenia international Josip Illicic.
This season has been quite amazing for Arkadiusz Milik, who has bagged ten goals and in 18 games only. The Polish internationals often scores when he is needed the most. Another notable name to watch is the Mexican international Hirving Lozano who has just netted four goals and created one assist so far in all competition.
Atalanta vs Napoli Prediction
Atalanta’s progress in the past few years has been incredible. Now, they even become the team with the biggest goal aggregate and have scored the most goals in Serie A. The duel of Gasperini’s powerful offensive football against Napoli’s fluid attack would surely offer a thrilling encounter and possibly a seesaw game too. Nevertheless, they both will have to share one point in the end.
In this exciting clash, the host is priced to win at 2.10 whereas Gattuso’s men are in the win market at 3.35. The odds for a draw result are only at 3.60.