Napoli will be expecting no less than three points when they travel to struggling Crotone in Serie A on Sunday at 5:00 PM (UK time).
Crotone XI: Cordaz; Cuomo, Marrone, Luperto; Pereira, Molina, Petriccione, Benali, Reca; Messias, Simy.
Napoli XI: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Bakayoko, Demme, Zielinski; Lozano, Petagna, Insigne.
Where to watch Crotone vs Napoli on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream Crotone vs Napoli:
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Crotone & Napoli’s build-up, pre-match team news & previous lineups:
Gennaro Gattuso’s side have hit something of an inconsistent patch, failing string back-to-back league wins together in their last four attempts. However, the Partenopei went into this gameweek level on points with fourth-placed Juventus after thrashing Roma 4-0 in their last Serie A outing, before drawing 1-1 away at AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League.
Another victory here will certainly keep the pressure on those above them in the early-season race for Champions League qualification.
If it’s a win they need, Napoli arguably couldn’t ask for a better opponent than Crotone right now. Giovanni Stroppa’s newly-promoted side have taken just two points from their opening nine Serie A fixtures, scoring a league-low six goals and conceding 20 (only Torino and Benevento have allowed more) as they await their first win.
Crotone have scored just once in their last four outings, so facing Serie A’s fourth-best defence this season isn’t a challenge they’re likely to welcome.
- Crotone (vs Bologna): Cordaz; Magallan, Marrone, Luperto; Pereira, Molina, Petriccione, Vulic, Reca; Messias; Nwankwo.
- Napoli (vs AZ Alkmaar): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Ruiz*, Bakayoko; Politano, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens.
Stroppa’s only injury concerns heading into this weekend are Luca Cigarini and Andrea Rispoli. The hosts have a full-strength squad barring those absences.
Fabian Ruiz is injured but Tiemoue Bakayoko returns having missed the previous Serie A match with suspension. Defender Elseid Hysaj is out.
Player to watch: Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)
Given Crotone’s blunt attack and status as massive underdogs, it’s going to be all about what Napoli can do in the final third in Sunday’s clash. If Gattuso wants to return to newly-named Diego Armando Maradona Stadium with all three points, then the creative and goalscoring exploits of Lorenzo Insigne will play a key role.
From the outside looking in, it would seem like the diminutive Italian forward plays second fiddle to Dries Mertens in Naples these days but make no mistake, Insigne is a vital cog in Gattuso’s machine.
The 29-year-old already has three goals to his name in six Serie A appearances so far this season and, most recently, he turned in a superb performance to score and assist in Napoli’s 4-0 thrashing of Roma in their last Serie A match.
In his last six games for club and country, Insigne has scored once and, more impressively, notched four assists, proving just how much of a creative influence he can be; Crotone might have to get a little physical to keep the Italy international at bay.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Crotone: LLDLL
- Napoli: WLWLW
Scoreline prediction: Crotone 0-2 Napoli
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