By 90Min
February 17, 2018

Napoli will look to extend their lead at the top of the Serie A table on Saturday, when they host 18th-placed strugglers SPAL.

SPAL would not be able to climb the table with a surprise away victory, however they could close the gap to 17th-placed Crotone to just one point and lift themselves further away from the danger zone at the bottom of the table.

Classic Encounter

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/GettyImages

In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Napoli picked up an emphatic 3-2 away win.

SPAL's Pasquale Schiattarella opened the scoring on 13 minutes, before Jose Callejon set up Lorenzo Insigne to equalise for Napoli less than 60 seconds later.

There was late drama in the last 20 minutes of the game, when Callejon got on the scoresheet himself to fire Napoli ahead before Federico Viviani equalised with 12 minutes to play.

In the 83rd minute, Napoli left-back Faouzi Ghoulam drilled his side's third goal into the bottom corner from outside of the box.

Key Battles

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Mirco Antenucci vs Kalidou Koulibaly

Former Leeds United loanee Mirco Antenucci has scored six goals and six assists in 19 appearances in Serie A this season. 

The 33-year-old will face a tough challenge this weekend, as he takes on Senegal international defender Kalidou Koulibaly. The 26-year-old defender has an average rating of 7.19 this season from

Marek Hamšík vs Federico Viviani

Slovakian attacking midfielder Hamšik has 5 goals and 1 assist in Serie A this season, and is Napoli's most dangerous player in their midfield trio. He always looks to pull the strings and makes things happen in advanced positions.

SPAL's Federico Viviani has looked comfortable in a defensive midfield role, so this battle in the middle of the park could be the difference in this game. Whoever wins this battle will allow their team to control the centre of the park and build momentum in the game.

Team News


Napoli are expected to return to a full-strength team, after making several changes for Thursday's Europa League defeat to RB Leipzig.

Sarri's men will be without their injured quartet of Arkadiusz Milik, Leandrinho, Faouzi Ghoulam and Vlad Chiriches for this encounter.

Meanwhile, SPAL will be missing the injured Marco Borriello, Eros Schiavon and Thiago Cionek.

Potential Napoli Starting Lineup: Reina; Hysaj, Tonelli, Koulibaly, Rui; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejón, Mertens, Insigne.

Potential SPAL Starting Lineup: Meret; Šimić, Salamon, Felipe; Lazzari, Luiz, Viviani, Grassi, Mattiello; Kurtić, Antenucci


Francesco Pecoraro/GettyImages

Napoli will be hungry to avenge their defeat in Europe during the week, and get back to winning ways in Serie A. Meanwhile, SPAL have failed to pick up a win in any of their last seven games. 

With Callejon, Mertens and Insigne set to start up front, it seems - on paper at least - that Napoli have too much firepower for the SPAL defence to deal with.

Prediction: Napoli 2-0 SPAL

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