The race for Champions League spot for Napoli and Lazio has been intense with only seven or eight games to go. Il Partenopei is still sitting on the fifth with two points away from Juventus on the fourth while Lazio has collected two points below Napoli. This midweek, both teams will be squaring off in Diego Maradona Stadium for the crucial decisive points.
Both teams’ previous matches:
Napoli had to be satisfied in mustering a 1-1 draw while playing host to Inter last weekend. They took the lead through Samir Handanovic’s own goal after the Slovenian goalkeeper unable to catch the ball on the loose. However, at the second half, their prospective win was denied as Christian Eriksen scored the equaliser.
Lazio, on the other hand, clinched a victory against Benevento in a 5-3 thriller. Depaoli’s own goal opened the scoring before Joaquin Correa doubled the home side’s lead plus Ciro Immobile’s close range strike. Then just before the interval, the visitor scored a lifeline through Marco Sau. At the second half, another own goal by Benevento’s goalie, Lorenzo Montipo extended Lazio’s two goal lead. Yet, before sealing their win by the late goal of Immobile, Simone Inzaghi’s men conceded twice by Nicolas Viola’s penalty and Kamil Glik’s header.
Gennaro Gatusso has been opting for 4-3-3 with the transition to 4-2-3-1 lately. He can pick any of his high-profile forwards in the squad such as Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Victor Osimhen, Hirving Lozano, Matteo Politano and Andrea Petagna without too much difference in quality. The only Gatusso’s concern is the absence of their number one goalie, David Ospina, who is injured plus Faiz Ghoulam.
His counterpart, Simone Inzaghi, has always been in favour of 3-5-2. Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa are still the main option upfront. In the midfield, Lucas Leiva will be accompanied by Sergej Milenkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto in the middle while Adam Marusic and Manuel Lazari are operating wide. The only name in their injury table is Lucas Leiva’s deputy, Gonzalo Escalante.
Players to watch
In Lazio, il capitano, Lorenzo Insigne is currently the top scorer of the club with fifteen goals and five assists. Some other notable names to watch are the Polish international Piotr Zielinski registering six goals and seven assists and Giovanni di Lorenzo.
Ciro Immobile is still the current top scorer of the club this season with 16 goals and four assists but he is not the only top performers so far. There are also two attacking midfielders who have been playing bigger role, the Spaniard Luiz Alberto and the Serbian international, Sergej Milenkovic-Savic.
Napoli vs Lazio Prediction
Another thrilling encounter could be expected to be on stage here as both sides have been known for their offensive football yet with different flair. Gatusso’s men should take this home fixture for maximum points although he can not easily rule out Ciro Immobile and Co’s potential deadly counter attack. A narrow win for Napoli.