Napoli welcome Sampdoria to the San Paolo in Serie A on Saturday as they look to bounce back from their thrilling 4-3 defeat to Juventus at the Allianz Stadium prior to the international break.
Carlo Ancelotti's men have started the season with one win and one defeat from their first two game. It has been a promising start and there is growing belief that I Partenopei will challenge Juve for the Scudetto.
Sampdoria, meanwhile, come into the game in a dire state. They have lost their first two matches heavily and are struggling to gain any sort of momentum.
Here's 90min's preview of the game.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Saturday 14 September|
|What Time is Kick Off?||17:00 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||San Paolo Stadium|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Premier Sports 1|
Where to Buy Tickets
Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both teams' official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.
Napoli may welcome back Arkadiusz Milik for the upcoming match, with the striker fighting to overcome his recent muscular issues. Milik chose not to join up with the Polish national side for the international break in a bid to get fit in time to feature against Sampdoria. It is a similar situation with Lorenzo Insigne, but Carlo Ancelotti is unwilling to take any risks with the Champions League set to get underway.
Eljif Elmas picked up an ankle injury while playing for North Macedonia recently, but the player himself recently confirmed that he hopes to be available for the upcoming match. New arrival Fernando Llorente could feature for the first time, following his late arrival to the club. Fellow summer signing Hirving Lozano may also be rewarded with a starting berth for the upcoming match due to his fine performance against Juventus last time out.
As far as Sampdoria are concerned, Ronaldo Vieira is out after he saw red against Sassuolo - which will be a big miss. However, Emiliano Rigoni and Andrea Seculin could make their debuts for the club in the upcoming match.
Boss Eusebio Di Francesco commented after the Sassuolo defeat that his side needed reinforcements everywhere, following a dire start to the new season.
|Napoli||Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Lozano, Zielinksi, Allan, Callejon; Ruiz, Mertens.|
|Sampdoria||Audero, Murillo, Colley, Murru, Leris, Ekdal, Baretto, Jankto, Ramirez, Bereszkynski, Quagliarella.|
Head to Head Record
The two sides have gone up against each other on 22 occasions, with Napoli boasting the better record.
I Partenopei have prevailed on 15 occasions, while Sampdoria have only managed the three wins. The two teams have also played out a draw four times in the past.
The last meeting came back in February, with Napoli claiming all three points in a comfortable 3-0 victory. Goals from Arkadiusz Milik, Lorenzo Insigne and Simone Verdi were enough to ease past their opposition.
Napoli come into the game having won one and lost one. Their first win came on the opening day of the season as they edged a thriller against Fiorentina by four goals to three. Juventus were their next opponents and it was a game of great importance, despite the timing of it.
I Bianconeri raced into a 3-0 lead and the game looked beyond I Partenopei, but a strong second-half showing saw them draw level. It appeared as though the spoils would be shared, however, Kalidou Koulibaly's last-gasp own goal saw the hosts steal the points. Nonetheless, Ancelotti's men have been impressive in the early stages of the new season - and are expected to put up a strong fight to lift the Serie A crown.
Sampdoria, meanwhile, have endured a torrid start to the new season, having lost both of their first two matches. Lazio eased past Eusebio Di Francesco's men by a 3-0 scoreline, before Sassuolo also romped to victory - a match which ended 4-1. It's been a tough start to the new campaign for them, and Di Francesco will be hoping his can put in a strong performance against Napoli, to turn their fortunes around.
Here's how both sides have performed in their last five matches.
|Juventus 4-3 Napoli (31/8)||Sassuolo 4-1 Sampdoria (1/9)|
|Fiorentina 3-4 Napoli (24/8)||Sampdoria 0-3 Lazio (25/8)|
|Napoli 0-4 Barcelona (10/8)||Crotone 1-3 Sampdoria (18/8)|
|Barcelona 2-1 Napoli (8/8)||Sampdoria 2-0 Juventus (26/5)|
|Liverpool 0-3 Napoli (28/7)||Chievo 0-0 Sampdoria (19/5)|
Napoli will come into the game as undoubted favourites, with Sampdoria very much struggling for form. However, Di Francesco will be keen to get his side to put in a strong performance in their first match after the international break. He will hope that this time off as acted as a reset button, allowing them to start afresh.
Napoli will be eager to claim all three points here and put on a good show, as they look to sustain a push for the title season. It appears as though this match will only go one way.
Prediction: Napoli 4-1 Sampdoria