Napoli get their Coppa Italia defence underway when they welcome Empoli to Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday afternoon (4:45pm kick-off UK time).
Gennaro Gattuso’s men won last season’s edition after overcoming Serie A champions Juventus on penalties whilst second-tier Empoli are seeking a major upset.
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Where to watch Napoli vs Empoli on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: ESPN+
How to live stream Napoli vs Empoli online:
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Scoreline prediction: Napoli 2-0 Empoli
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Napoli vs Empoli build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Napoli turn their attention to Coppa Italia duties after running out 2-1 winners against Udinese at the weekend, only their second win in six matches, but manager Gattuso can take his mind off their Serie A campaign and rekindle fond memories. Last season’s triumph was the former midfielder’s first managerial honour, whilst it also ended Napoli’s six-year wait for major silverware. However, they’ve recently struggled at home with just two wins registered across their previous six matches in all competitions.
There are no guarantees in football, but with that being said it would be truly sensation if the Coppa Italia holders were dumped out by Serie B leaders Empoli, who are positioning themselves for a return to Italy’s top flight. After their opening 17 matches, Empoli are three points clear at the top of the table, with nine wins and just one defeat which, despite the level of competition, should give them confidence. Away from home, Empoli are also currently unbeaten in their past six matches including two wins going into Wednesday’s game.
- Napoli (vs Udinese): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Manolas*, Hysaj; Fabian, Bakayoko; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Petagna.
- Empoli (vs Cosenza): Brignoli; Fiamozzi, Romagnoli, Casale, Parisi; Ricci, Stulac, Haas; Bajrami; Olivieri, Matos.
Kostas Manolas will miss out this week suffering a thigh strain after just 15 minutes in Napoli’s win over Udinese at the weekend. He joins Victor Osimhen on the sidelines but while Dries Mertens is not fit to start, the Belgian could return from injury for a cameo appearance. Filippo Bandinelli, meanwhile, is the only player absent for Empoli.
Player to watch: Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)
In what has been a challenging season for Napoli, who are nine points behind Serie A leaders AC Milan albeit playing one game fewer, there at least seems to be light at the end of the tunnel considering the recent performances of talismanic forward Lorenzo Insigne. Against Udinese, the Italian scored his third league goal in four games and it proved to be a landmark strike. Insigne is now level with legendary Brazilian marksman Careca in the list of Napoli’s all-time Serie A goalscorers with 73 goals, which places him in seventh, the same position if we consider all competitions (97 goals). He will no doubt fancy his chances against Empoli whom in seven previous appearances the Italian forward would bag six goals whilst creating three more.
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