Napoli travel to Parma in Serie A on Sunday, as second play 12th at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
The visitors head into the fixture having sealed their qualification into the Europa League last 16 with a 2-0 victory over FC Zurich sealing a resounding 5-1 aggregate win. In the league both sides suffered disappointing results last time out as Napoli drew a blank at home to Torino, dropping two points in their bid to catch Juventus at the league summit, while Parma fell to a 2-1 loss away at ten-man Cagliari.
With 14 matches left in the season it looks unlikely Napoli will claw back 13 points on the runaway leaders, but Carlo Ancelotti's side will be keen to at least cement their second place position in the table ahead of third place Inter.
Here's 90min's preview of Sunday's Serie A clash.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 24 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||17:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||Stadio Ennio Tardini|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven Sports 2/Premier 1|
Ancelotti will be without a couple of players for Sunday's match but the most notable is the absence of star forward Lorenzo Insigne.
The Italian was one of five Napoli players booked in their last match but his caution now rules him out of the tie after picking up too many bookings, resulting in a one match suspension.
Apart from Insigne, the Gli Azzurri are without Raul Albiol, who was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after requiring knee surgery, while winger Amin Younes remains sidelined with an Achilles problem. Meanwhile, Parma head into their home fixture with all but one player available. Midfielder Alberto Grassi suffered a cruciate ligament rupture back in December and is not scheduled back until May.
|Parma||Sepe; Gobbi, Bastoni, Alves, Iacoponi, Barilla, Stulac, Kucka, Gervinho, Inglese, Biabiany.|
|Napoli||Ospina; Malcuit, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Hysaj, Callejon, Ruiz, Allan, Zielinksi; Milik, Mertens.|
Head to Head Record
A double from Arkadiusz Milik helped I Partenopei on their way to a comfortable 3-0 win over Parma in the reverse fixture last September, with Insigne grabbing the opener on that occasion.
The home side's last victory over Napoli was during the 2013/14 Serie A season in which Gli Emiliani did the double over them, sealing 1-0 wins on both occasions.
One of the more famous encounters between these two occurred back in April 2008 in a league match at the Stadio Ennio Tardini, where no less than four red cards were brandished as Napoli secured a 2-1 win. McDonald Mariga, Falcone and Andrea Gasbarroni all received their marching orders for Parma while Napoli's Walter Gargano was also sent for an early shower.
It has been somewhat stop start for the men in blue of late, with three 0-0 draws in their last seven outings. Nonetheless, the club are unbeaten since losing to Inter back in late December, a run of 10 matches.
Despite some unconvincing stalemates, the club have successfully progressed to the Europa League last 16 after their 2-0 win over FC Zurich on Thursday culminated in a comfortable 5-1 aggregate victory.
Meanwhile, Parma have been going through a bizarre run of form which has seen results away from home drastically better than those on their own turf. The club have won two and drawn one of their last five away outings, including a 3-3 draw away at leaders Juventus, while they failed to win any of their previous five home matches, losing on three occasions.
Here's how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:
|Cagliari 2-1 Parma (16/2)||Napoli 2-0 FC Zurich (21/2)|
|Parma 0-1 Inter (9/2)||Napoli 0-0 Torino (17/2)|
|Juventus 3-3 Parma (2/2)||FC Zurich 1-3 Napoli (14/2)|
|Parma 2-3 SPAL (27/1)||Fiorentina 0-0 Napoli (9/2)|
|Udinese 2-1 Parma (19/1)||Napoli 3-0 Sampdoria (2/2)|
The loss of Insigne is a blow to Ancelotti but shouldn't prove significant as they head to a Parma side on a barren run of home form. Off the back of a morale boosting Europa League last 32 tie, Napoli will be fairly confident they can overcome a side 12th in Serie A.
The firepower Gli Azzurri have is lethal and another 0-0 in the league doesn't appear to be on the cards.
Prediction: Parma 1-3 Napoli