Napoli travel to the Stadio Benito Stirpe on Sunday to face Frosinone as they look to lock down second position in the table.
Juventus secured the Scudetto last weekend after defeating Fiorentina, leaving Carlo Ancelotti's side with little left to play for with their place in next season's Champions League all but assured thanks to their 11 point advantage over fifth-placed Atalanta.
Atalanta claimed a 2-1 victory at the Stadio San Paolo on Monday, Duvan Zapata and Mario Pasalic striking in the second period to overturn a half-time deficit. Dries Mertens had poked home to give I Partenopei the lead, before missing an array of presentable opportunities as his side collapsed.
Meanwhile, opponents Frosinone were dismissed 1-0 by 10-man Cagliari, a score that leaves them second bottom of Serie A and staring relegation square in the face. Their demotion could be confirmed this weekend if results go against them.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Sunday 28 April|
|What Time is Kick Off?||11:30 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||Stadio Benito Stirpe|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Premier Sports 2|
The hosts will be without midfielder Federico Viviani for the remainder of the campaign due to a muscular problem, whilst a strained hamstring keeps centre-back Bartosz Salamon out of Sunday's matchup. Camillo Ciano completes their list of absentees, a suspension preventing the winger from participating.
Ancelotti is deprived of four players for the away trip this weekend. Defensive duo Nikola Maksimovic and Vlad Chiriches have a toe injury and a shoulder issue respectively. Wideman Adam Ounas is struggling with a thigh problem, and muscular damage has sidelined midfielder Amadou Diawara.
|Frosinone||Sportiello; Goldaniga, Ariaudo, Capuano; Zampano, Paganini, Maiello, Valzania, Beghetto; Ciano, Ciofani.|
|Napoli||Ospina; Hysaj, Luperto, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Callejon, Allan, Fabian, Zielinski; Milik, Mertens.|
Head to Head Record
Napoli have emerged triumphant on all six occasions these teams have played each other, winning their three top-flight meetings by an aggregate score of 13 goals to one. They hammered Canarini Ciociari 4-0 in December courtesy of an Arkadiusz Milik brace, along with efforts from Ounas and Piotr Zielinski.
They took an early lead after pinball in the box eventually saw the ball fall at the feet of Zielinski, the Pole rifling a low angled shot into the far corner. They doubled their advantage as the first half drew to a close, Ounas leathering a long-range drive beyond the helpless Marco Sportiello, nearly bursting the net in the process.
Milik wrapped up the points after the break, first flicking in a deft header from an in-swinging corner and then turning home a trickling cross from Ounas as time ticked a way.
Back-to-back victories over Parma and Fiorentina at the start of April gave Frosinone's survival hopes a much-needed boost. However, they have since been beaten by Inter and Cagliari, the losses leaving them 10 points adrift of 17th place.
A woeful run of results for the Europa League quarter-finalists has seen rivals Juventus stroll to the title, a far cry from the hotly-contested race of 2017/18. They have just one win in their last six games in all competitions and were dumped out of Europe by Arsenal last week after a 3-0 loss across the two legs.
Their only victory since March came away to already-relegated Chievo a fortnight ago. Their forwards have been misfiring in recent times, Mertens' wasteful display on Monday night summing up their issues in front of goal.
Here's how the two teams fared in their previous five fixtures.
|Cagliari 1-0 Frosinone (20/4)||Napoli 1-2 Atalanta (22/4)|
|Frosinone 1-3 Inter Milan (14/4)||Napoli 0-1 Arsenal (18/4)|
|Fiorentina 0-1 Frosinone (07/14)||Chievo Verona 1-3 Napoli (14/4)|
|Frosinone 3-2 Parma (03/4)||Arsenal 2-0 Napoli (11/4)|
|Frosinone 0-1 SPAL (31/3)||Napoli 1-1 Genoa (07/4)|
When the pressure is off a side they usually perform better, expressing themselves freely and fearlessly. However, the pressure has not been on Ancelotti and his cohort for a while given the gulf between themselves and Juve, yet their performances have recently fallen off a metaphorical cliff.
They have had their confidence sapped, appearing hesitant and nervy in the matches leading up to the clash with Frosinone. They certainly have the quality to overcome their lowly opponents, though it may not be the prettiest of wins.
Napoli should be capable of carving out plenty of opportunities against this porous defence; the crux of the matter is how accurate Mertens and co. are on Sunday.
Prediction: Frosinone 1-2 Napoli