By 90Min
March 30, 2018

Sassuolo and Napoli clash in Serie A on Saturday with the two teams in contrasting positions, with Napoli looking to leapfrog Juventus to go top of the Serie A league table and Sassuolo looking the stop the rot and secure safety in the Italian top flight. 

Napoli could regain top spot in Serie A with a victory over their relegation-threatened opponents on Saturday, albeit for a matter of hours as current leaders Juventus face Milan later on Saturday. 

The side from Naples trail their Turin rivals by two points after losing their Serie A lead to Juventus earlier this month. 

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Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri will be hoping his side continues their impressive league form, having won 11 of their last 13 league matches, while their opponents, who sit at the other end of the table, have won just once in their last 10 Serie A matches.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of this clash at the MAPEI Stadium.

Key Battle

Pol Lirola vs Lorenzo Insigne

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It's pretty much a given that Napoli will have most of the ball and their opponents will have to sit back, defend well and counter if they are to get anything out of this match.

If that is the template the game will be played in, look no further than the clash between one of Italian football's most exciting players and one of Sassuolo's best players this season - Lorenzo Insigne and Pol Lirola.

In Insigne, Napoli have one of the most creative footballers in world football, with the diminutive Italian winger involved in 15 goals for Napoli this season in Serie A (8 goals, 7 assists). Only Dries Mertens has been involved in more goals for Napoli, and his influence on their style of play is clear.

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Up against the Italian winger will be Spanish right back Pol Lirola, who has impressed for Sassuolo this season - despite his side being in poor form throughout the campaign. 

The 20 year-old joined Sassuolo on a permanent basis in January from fellow Serie A side Juventus after a successful loan spell.

Lirola will play a key part in trying to stop the entertaining Napoli side and if he can disrupt Napoli's fluid interchanging style of play the underdogs might just come up with a big upset on Saturday.

Team News

Sassuolo can recall a host of players, with Domenico Berardi, Federico Peluso and Antonino Ragusa all returning from bans this weekend, although the latter might have to settle for a place on the bench.

Sassuolo, who ended their nine-match winless streak by beating Udinese before the international break, will be hoping the returnof Berardi will help them secure a needed victory after the Italian served a two-match suspension for a red card against Lazio last month. 

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Napoli's Marek Hamsik is available to play but is still not fully fit and may get an extended rest. Piotr Zielinski could replace Napoli's captain, while long-term absentee Faouzi Ghoulam remains sidelined and Elseid Hysaj is also doubtful.

Potential Sassuolo Starting Lineup: Consigli; Peluso, Acerbi, Goldaniga, Lirola; Sensi, Magnanelli, Missiroli; Politano, Babacar, Berardi.

Potential Napoli Starting Lineup: Reina; Rui, Koulibaly, Albiol, Hysaj; Zielinski, Jorginho, Allan; Insigne, Mertens, Callejon.


Francesco Pecoraro/GettyImages

Napoli head into the clash undefeated in their last 27 away matches in Serie A and without conceding in their last five matches away from home. Alternately, Sassuolo have failed to win in their last five home matches. 

Although Sassuolo produced an impressive display to end their nine-match winless streak last time out against Udinese, Napoli have found new hope in the title race after Juventus surprisingly dropped points against SPAL, and should have enough to win here.

Prediction: Sassuolo 0-3 Napoli

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