Napoli will be looking to put their Europa League exit behind them when they host struggling Benevento in Serie A on Sunday (17:00 UK time).
Gennaro Gattuso’s side won their last-32 second leg against Granada 2-1 on Thursday night but bowed out of the competition on aggregate, while Benevento, managed by Gattuso’s former Milan teammate Filippo Inzaghi, drew for a third consecutive time in Serie A last weekend.
How to live stream Napoli vs Benevento online:
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Where to watch Napoli vs Benevento on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Napoli 3-1 Benevento
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Napoli vs Benevento build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
If there’s one word to describe Gattuso’s Napoli of late it’s ‘inconsistent’. Their past five Serie A outings has seen them alternate between wins and losses, dropping them down to seventh in the table, outside the European places. However, they are just four points off the last Champions League spot, currently occupied by Roma who have played a game more. Despite their poor run, Napoli have been strong at home and are looking for their fourth consecutive win at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
As far as Benevento are concerned, their prime objective is to stave off relegation. So far it’s going well as they currently sit 10 points above the bottom three but, as we’ve always seen, it can change in a blink of an eye. Benevento need to start collecting victories, currently winless in their past seven games, with their last success coming at Cagliari last month. Inzaghi’s men visit the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona having picked up one point across their previous three away trips, although one of those losses did come at leaders Inter Milan (4-0).
- Napoli (vs Granada): Meret; Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Maksimovic; Di Lorenzo, Fabian, Bakayoko, Elmas; Zielinski; Politano, Insigne.
- Benevento (vs AS Roma): Montipò; Depaoli, Glik*, Barba, Foulon; Viola, Schiattarella, Hetemaj; Ionita, Caprari; Lapadula.
Napoli remain without a host of players including Victor Osimhen, Andrea Petagna, Hirving Loazno, David Ospina, Elseid Hysaj, Kostas Manolas and Diego Demme. Kamil Glik, meanwhile, sits this game out for Benevento after being sent off in their goalless draw with Roma last weekend. He’s joined on the sidelines by Iago Falqué and Riccardo Improta.
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Player to watch: Dries Mertens (Napoli)
Shortly after signing for Napoli from PSV Eindhoven in 2013 there were some who doubted Dries Mertens would successfully transition from a league where goals are free-flowing to the birthplace of catenaccio. Despite that being a lazy stereotype it goes without saying Serie A is levels above the Eredivisie when it comes to defending. A self-aware Mertens promised to silence those critics. “When people doubt me and say Serie A is different from the Eredivisie because I won’t play against any Dutch defenders, that is when I’ll be at my best,” he told De Telegraaf.
Fast-forward eight years and he’s on the cusp of making league appearance number 250 for Napoli, during his previous outings the Belgian international has netted 97 times, which is five shy of equalling the club’s all-time record currently held by Antonio Vojak. If he does feature, expected to return after his substitute appearance in midweek. then Mertens couldn’t have asked for a better opponent. Benevento are one of two teams, along Pescara, that he averages higher than one goal per game in Italy’s top division having registered four goals across three games.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Napoli: LWLWL
- Benevento: DDDLD
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