Napoli continue their Coppa Italia defence when Spezia visit the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Thursday evening (8pm kick-off UK time).
Gennaro Gattuso’s men edged past Empoli last time out while Spezia produced an upset when they dumped out AS Roma.
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Where to watch Napoli vs Spezia on TV:
- UK: BT Sport 2
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Napoli 2-1 Spezia
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Napoli vs Spezia build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Napoli began their Coppa Italia defence with a narrow 3-2 win over Empoli earlier this month. Since then, the Partenopei have gone from one extreme to another. A comfortable 6-0 win over Fiorentina (which saw talismanic figure Lorenzo Insigne grab a brace) was followed by a soul-crushing 2-0 loss at bitter foes Juventus, but they couldn’t bounce back last time out as Hellas Verona snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at their expense. It has subsequently led to reports of Gattuso’s job being on the line with former boss Rafael Benítez, who recently stepped down managing Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional, being touted as a potential successor.
It’s a similar case with Spezia who produced a stunning 0-3 win in Italy’s capital to dump out Roma but Paulo Fonseca’s men got immediate revenge several days later when they ran out 4-3 winners. That narrow league defeat nevertheless leaves the Liguria-based club sitting four points above Serie A’s dropzone. Prior to losing they had looked decent on the road; across a three-match spell (including the aforementioned Coppa win) Vincenzo Italiano’s picked up two wins. It’s also worth noting their other success came at Napoli’s expense when they rallied from 1-0 down to leave the newly-christened Diego Armando Maradona Stadium with a famous 1-2 victory.
- Napoli (vs Hellas Verona): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Hysaj; Bakayoko, Demme; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Petagna.
- Spezia (vs Roma): Provedel; Dell’Orco, Terzi, Chabot, Marchizza; Agoume, Maggiore, Estévez; Gyasi, Piccoli, Farias.
Fabián Ruiz is the only player missing from Gennaro Gattuso’s matchday squad. As for the visitors there are several players unavailable due to injury: Roberto Piccoli (hamstring), M’Bala Nzola (ankle), Salvador Ferrer (muscle), Federico Mattiello (muscle) and Jeroen Zoet (groin) all sit out Spezia’s mid-week trip.
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Player to watch: Hirving Lozano (Napoli)
It’s slowly turning into a promising campaign for Mexican international Hirving Lozano who has now registered in each of Napoli’s previous two league outings after scoring once across his previous six league appearances. He was also on hand against Empoli as Gattuso’s side edged out a 3-2 win to progress in this season’s Coppa Italia. Lozano, following a high-profile move from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in summer 2019, has already been more prolific having netted 11 times in all competitions this season compared to five goals last term. The 25-year-old previously led the line, playing a false nine role, against Spezia in Serie A subsequently pulling off four shots albeit just getting one on target. He also created three chances, though it’s worth noting all of his strikes have come when Gattuso has fielded him from the right flank.
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