By 90Min
May 05, 2018

Napoli will welcome Torino to the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday, needing to bounce back from last week's disappointing 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina - a loss which cancelled out their previous impressive 1-0 victory against table-toppers Juventus. 

I Ciucciarelli are currently in 2nd place and have four points less than Juve, who are set to face Bologna in Turin on Saturday evening. With just three games left of the season - and with I Bianconeri still needing to play Milan and Roma - Maurizio Sarri's side will need a minimum of three points on Sunday.

The 10th-placed visitors have nothing to play having already preserved their Serie A status, although, they have endured a slump in form with no wins in any of their last four league fixtures. 


Classic Encounter


Napoli have welcomed Torino to Naples on 72 occasions. 65 of those meetings have been in the Serie A, two in the Serie B and five in the Coppa Italia. The Partenopei have won 28 of the fixtures, while Il Toro have won 13. 

Napoli's last victory at home to Torino came all the way back in December 2016, in what was a classic encounter. 


The fifth-placed hosts were fighting for a place in the Champions League while eighth-placed Torino weren't too far off a Europa League spot. Belgium international Dries Mertens handed them the perfect start when he drilled Jose Callejon's cut-back past Joe Hart, who was on loan from Manchester City at the time. 

Things quickly went from bad to worse for the England stopper, when Mertens grabbed his second of the game from the penalty spot in the 13th minute. It took the former PSV striker just four more minutes to secure his hat-trick - and by doing so he became the first player since 1974 to score consecutive Serie A hat-tricks. 

Torino did mount a mini-fightback in the second half. Andrea Belotti got one goal back for the visitors in the 58th minute, but former Spurs centre back Vlad Chiriches grabbed Napoli's fourth ten minutes later. 

Luca Rossettini clawed another goal back for the away side in the 76th minute, before Mertens' sumptuous chip over Hart minutes later secured his fourth and Napoli's fifth of the game. Iago Falque restored some pride for I Granata from the penalty spot, but the game ended with hosts running out 5-3 victors. 


Recent Form:


Recorded last six home & away games:

Napoli Home Form: WWWLWL 

Napoli have the second best home record in the Serie A, behind table-toppers Juventus. Over the course of the season thus far, I Ciucciarelli have won 13 and lost just two of their 17 games at the Stadio San Paolo. The Neapolitan club have scored 39 goals (2.3 per game) at home - just one less than topscorers Juve, while they have conceded on 15 occasions at the other end (0.9 per game). 

Torino Away Form: LDWLLD 


Torino have the 10th best away record in the league with four wins and five losses from 17 games. Away from Turin, they have scored 21 goals (1.2 per game) and conceded 25 (1.5 per game). 


Team News:

Napoli will be without centre back Kalidou Koulibaly due to suspension after he was sent off in their 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina. The Senegalese international is the only expected absentee for the hosts. 

Torino could welcome back Cristian Ansaldi; although, centre back Emiliano Moretti will be missing Sunday's trip due to suspension. 


Potential Napoli Starting Lineup: Reina, Hysaj, Albiol, Chiriches, Silva Duarte, , Frello Filho, Hamsik, Callejón, Mertens, Insigne

Potential Torino Starting Lineup: Sirigu, Bonifazi, Burdisso, N'Koulou, Molinaro, Baselli, Rincon, De Silvestri, Edera, Ljajic, Belotti 


Prediction:


All the pressure will be on the hosts, but they should be beating their mid-table opposition. 

Torino's defence - especially away from home - leaks goals, and Napoli, on the other hand, are the league's second top scorers. An early goal would do wonders to settle any potential nerves at the Stadio San Paolo, so expect Napoli to come flying out of the blocks. 

Prediction: Napoli 3-0 Torino 

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