Napoli will look to strengthen their position in the Serie A top six when they welcome Udinese to the San Paolo Stadium on Sunday evening.
Gennaro Gattuso’s side currently occupy the final Europa League qualification place but only thanks to goal difference. AC Milan are hot on their heels and in good form. The Parthenopeans will need to end a two-game winless run if they are to have aspirations of cementing a top-six finish.
Their opponents come in the form of lowly Udinese. Luca Gotti’s side currently sit just two places above the relegation zone but are seven points clear of danger. With six games remaining the Little Zebras will fancy their chances of staying in the top-flight, but the tide can change quickly in football.
With that, the Giampaolo Pozzo-owned club will be eager to put points on the board when they travel to Naples at the end of the week. Gattuso meanwhile, will have other ideas.
Where to watch Napoli vs Udinese on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream Napoli vs Udinese:
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Napoli & Udinese’s previous line-ups:
- Napoli (vs Bologna): Meret; Di Lorenzo*, Manolas, Maksimovic, Hysaj; Elmas, Demme, Zielinski; Politano, Lozano, Milik.
- Udinese (vs Lazio): Musso; Becao, De Maio, Nuytinck; Larsen, De Paul, Jajalo, Fofana, Sema; Okaka*, Lasagna.
Gattuso will have to make do with Giovanni Di Lorenzo, who picked up a booking and thus a suspension in the 1-1 draw with Bologna last time out. Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne were both benched for the Bologna match but will likely start against Udinese, with Napoli having struggled at the Renato Dall’Ara.
Former Fulham loanee and Watford striker Stefano Okaka is suspended for this match after getting his name in the referee’s book against Lazio on Wednesday.
Players to watch:
Napoli: With the Parthenopeans opting for a new look frontline against Bologna and struggling in front of goal, Gattuso will likely return to his tried and tested. One of those relied-upon players is diminutive forward Lorenzo Insigne, who will be relishing the chance to net double digits for the season. Thus far the 29-year-old has amassed a six-goal Serie A haul from out wide, but he will be hopeful of adding to that tally in the coming weeks. With lightning-quick feet, dribbling excellence and an eye for goal, Udinese will have to be acutely alert if they are to keep Insigne quiet.
Udinese: Goals have been hard to come by for Udinese this season. They have found the back of the net just 31 times, the third-worst output of any club this season. To think that, not too long ago, they boasted goal fiend Antonio Di Natale, which only amplifies the severity of their goal-shy frontline. But, one player who has not been afraid to showcase his proficiency in the opposition box is Kevin Lasagna. The 27-year-old has 10 goals to his name this season, meaning he has contributed to 32 per cent of his side’s total output. More remarkable is that six have come since the league restarted. This will surely be in Gattuso’s prematch notes, and he will need his defenders on form to negate any danger posed by the Italian forward.
Scoreline prediction: Napoli 3-1 Udinese
Serie A 2019/20 recent form:
- Napoli: DDWWL
- Udinese: DLWDW