Two of the favorites for this season’s Europa League crown face off at the King Power Stadium on Thursday when Leicester City welcomes Napoli to the English midlands.
The pair look likely to be in a straight shootout for the top two places in Group C ahead of Spartak Moscow and Legia Warsaw, which may hope to see the spoils shared in Leicester.
How to Watch
Date: Thursday, Sept. 16
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Venue: King Power Stadium, Leicester, England
TV: UNIMAS (KTSB - Santa Barbara)
Live Stream: You can stream the match on fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!
Napoli travels to England as one of three teams to have won each of its three opening games in Serie A this season, hitting the ground running after Luciano Spalletti took charge this summer.
The club comes into this clash with a spring in its step, too, after defeating Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus 2-1 on Saturday when Kalidou Koulibaly completed the comeback in the final minutes:
But the Italians could be forced into a number of changes for their visit to the Foxes, with Lorenzo Insigne and Mário Rui among the fresh doubts after they came off during that win over Juve.
Dries Mertens has trained with the team as Napoli’s record scorer looks to make his first appearance of the season. He’s far from Spalletti’s sole concern, however, as Faouzi Ghoulam, Diego Demme, Stanislav Lobotka and Alex Meret are also due to sit out the fixture due to injuries.
There were concerns goalkeeper David Ospina and striker Victor Osimhen would be prevented from traveling to the United Kingdom after they were in red-listed countries during the recent international break. However, the pair has since been cleared to feature and should both start at the King Power.
Leicester suffered its first home loss of the season Saturday when Manchester City returned the favor for the 1-0 Community Shield defeat, though Brendan Rodgers saw the positives:
The Northern Irishman will hope that’s not the beginning of a trend for his side, which will have a chip on its shoulder after suffering a shock round-of-32 exit to Slavia Prague last season.
This will be only Leicester’s sixth season in Europe, a long way short of amassing the Partenopei’s extensive resumé on the continent, having lifted the UEFA Cup when Diego Maradona led the club in 1989.
These teams have never met, but Napoli’s road record against British teams leaves a lot to be desired, failing to collect a win in nine trips to Liverpool (2L, 1D), Manchester City (1L, 1D), Arsenal (2L), Chelsea (1D) and Swansea (1D).
The Foxes won’t want to be the first to allow the Naples outfit success on these shores in what will be a key encounter in the race to finish top of the pile in Group C.
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