By 90Min
March 15, 2019
It's back to Serie A duty for Napoli after they survived a Europa League scare against Red Bull Salzburg to progress 4-3 on aggregate, after a 3-1 loss in Austria on Thursday night.

With Juventus running away with the title it's down to Gli Azzurri to keep hold of their second place position in the table as they host 15th place Udinese on Sunday.

ANDREAS SOLARO/GettyImages

The visitors are just four points clear of the bottom three in Serie A and will be in desperate need of a positive result to ease their fears of relegation this season.

Here's 90min's preview of Sunday's encounter below.


Where to Watch

When Is Kickoff? Sunday 17 March
What Time Is Kickoff? 17:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Stadio San Paolo
TV Channel/Live Stream Premie Sports 2
Referee Gianpaolo Calvarese


Team News

Carlo Ancelotti is still without Raul Albiol, who continues to be sidelined after undergoing knee surgery in early February. In addition, Lorenzo Insigne, Vlad Chiriches and Amadou Diawara will all be out for the next three weeks after the players sustained injuries, the club has confirmed.

However, he welcomes back centre back pairing Kalidou Koulibaly and Nikola Maksimovic who missed the midweek Europa League game through suspension.

ISABELLA BONOTTO/GettyImages

Udinese have a host of injuries to contend with, something that has had a big effect on their season so far. Valon Behrami, Samir, Emmanuel Badu, Marco D'Alessandro and Emil Hallfredsson all remain sidelined for the Series A strugglers.


Predicted Lineups

Napoli Meret; Ghoulam, Koulibaly, Maksimovic, Hysaj, Rui; Zielinski, Allan, Callejon; Milik, Mertens.
Udinese Musso; Nuytinck, Troost-Ekong, De Maio; Zeegelaar, Fofana, Wilmot, Larsen, Ter Avest; De Paul, Pussetto


Head to Head Record

In 25 encounters between these sides it is Napoli who hold the advantage with 13 wins to Udinese's five.

MIGUEL MEDINA/GettyImages

The reverse fixture back in October saw I Partenopei run out 3-0 winners thanks to goals from Fabian Ruiz, Dries Mertens and Marko Rog saw Ancelotti's side briefly move four points behind leaders Juventus in Serie A.


Recent Form

It's been a poor month or so for Napoli who have seen themselves fall way off Juventus in the chase for the Scudetto. They've only won two of their last seven matches in all competitions, a 3-0 first leg win over Salzburg and a 4-0 win over Parma.

It is very much a case of keeping hold of second place in the league for Ancelotti's side now, with an 18 point gap between them and Juventus an seemingly impossible margin to overturn.

Meanwhile, Udinese eased their relegation fears with two crucial victories over Chievo and Bologna before they were brought back down to earth with a 4-1 defeat away at Juventus last time out.

Here's how both sides fared in their last five fixtures:

Napoli Udinese
Salzburg 3-1 Napoli (14/03) Juventus 4-1 Udinese (8/3)
Sassuolo 1-1 Napoli (10/03)
Udinese 2-1 Bologna (3/3)
Napoli 3-0 Salzburg (07/03)
Udinese 1-0 Chievo (17/2)
Napoli 1-2 Juventus (03/03)
Torino 1-0 Udinese (10/2)
Parma 0-4 Napoli (24/02)
Udinese 1-1 Fiorentina (3/2)

Prediction

Napoli will be rocked somewhat following the scare they suffered in midweek, but will be nonetheless pleased to have progressed to the quarter finals.

With Serie A glory well and truly out of their reach, the must shift their focus to retaining a Champions League spot and keeping distance between themselves and Roma. Back for them this weekend is their first choice centre back pairing, something that will give them the foundation to go on and claim three points on Sunday.

Prediction: Napoli 2-0 Udinese

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