Preview: Sampdoria vs. Napoli – prediction, team news, lineups

Just a few days after suffering their first loss of the Serie A season, Napoli looks to get back to business as usual when they take on Sampdoria on Sunday at Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Both teams will be playing in the same stadium.

After suffering a loss to potential title rivals Inter in Milan by the score of 1-0, the leaders continue their journey to Genoa this weekend, where they will face a Samp side that is celebrating just their second league win of the season.

Luciano Spalletti, manager of Napoli, provides a preview of the match on October 12, 2022.
© Reuters

After a lengthy break for the winter season, Napoli returned to action on Wednesday with a loss of 1-0 at San Siro, which resulted in them no longer holding the distinction of being the only unbeaten team competing in any of Europe’s top five leagues.

Edin Dzeko’s header in the second half proved to be the difference in the end as the team managed by Luciano Spalletti was ultimately defeated. This brought an end to a fantastic run in which they had won 11 consecutive league matches in a row and saw their lead at the top of Serie A cut to five points from second-placed Milan.

Inter Milan, who could have scored more goals, outthought and outmanoeuvred Napoli, who are still looking for their first Scudetto after more than 30 years of trying. As a result, the Nerazzurri have now joined both of their city rivals, as well as Juventus, in the hunt for the title.

The Partenopei will be eager to return to winning ways in-between their two titanic tussles at the beginning of 2023, so their match against Sampdoria may prove to be well-timed in that regard. The Partenopei are set to face off against Juve on the following Friday night.

Spalletti, who coached Samp in the past, is now the head coach of a club that has won each of their last seven Serie A matches against the team that will be the hosts on Sunday. The club has scored 47 goals in the sides’ last 18 meetings in the top flight, which is an average of 2.6 goals per game.

The manner in which Napoli handles their first significant challenge of the season will have a significant impact on their chances of winning the Scudetto over the next few months; accordingly, a victory at Marassi against a team that is struggling is absolutely necessary.

On March 10, 2022, Red Star Belgrade head coach Dejan Stankovic will step down.
© Reuters

The fact that Sampdoria has suffered as many defeats against Napoli in their last seven home matches as they did in their previous 28 demonstrates the magnitude of the gap in standing that has developed between the two clubs over the past few years.

Samp are reduced to a second consecutive relegation scrap and were in deep trouble as the action paused for Qatar 2022 to take place. This is in contrast to their counterparts in Campania, who are competing for glory at the sharp end of Serie A. In the meantime, Samp are involved in a second consecutive relegation scrap.

The Ligurians were in 19th place heading into Christmas with only one victory to their name after the first 15 rounds of the competition; however, an unexpected victory on Wednesday offers a glimmer of hope for the side coached by Dejan Stankovic.

Their 2-1 victory at Sassuolo, which was helped along by first-half goals from Manolo Gabbiadini and Tommaso Augello, brought Sampdoria’s total of away wins up to a modest two, but they have performed even worse on their own turf this season. Since they have not won any of their previous five matches at home and have never had a losing streak longer than this during their time in Serie A, the pressure is on for them to end this skid as soon as possible.

Even holding Napoli to a draw would provide another boost of morale in the camp, and a win over Napoli, although unlikely, would mark the first time Samp have won their first two calendar-year fixtures since 1997, when Sven-Goran Eriksson was the manager. Napoli is currently ranked fourth in the Serie A.

Current coach Stankovic, who is still grieving the recent loss of countryman and mentor Sinisa Mihajlovic, will now lead his men out at Marassi on a day of raw emotion and reflection. This is in response to the untimely death of club legend Gianluca Vialli, who played a significant role in the Blucerchiati’s fabled title triumph in 1991.


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