Serie A: Napoli face Empoli to consolidate lead
Tuesday – 14 Rabi’ al-Thani 1444 AH – 08 November 2022 AD Issue No. [
Spalletti hopes to continue revival and guide Napoli to desired goal (AFP)
Rome: “Middle East”
Napoli appears to be an extraordinary candidate to consolidate the lead when it hosts 14th-placed Empoli today in the opening of the 14th phase of the Italian Football League. Napoli is looking for its third title in its history and the first since 1989-1990. It is deservedly at the top of the league with a score of 35 points, six ahead of direct challenger AC Milan, the defending champions, and is the only team not to have lost in the league this season not.
Napoli go into the game in high spirits after their valuable 2-1 win over their hosts and former outright rivals Atalanta on Saturday.
“It was a difficult game, everyone knew that winning would give the team three important points, but every win is important with what we want to achieve,” coach Luciano Spalletti said in reference to the title.
Napoli put on great performances in various competitions. In addition to his 11 wins and two draws in the league, he has achieved five consecutive victories in the group stage of the prestigious continental competition over Liverpool, last season’s summer 4-1, Scottish Rangers (3) -0 round trip) and Ajax Amsterdam (6 – 1 and 4 – 2), before falling 0-2 at Anfield in the last sixth round, in his first fall this season in various competitions.
Napoli has become a tough contender this season despite the departure of its most prominent stars, led by captain Lorenzo Insigne, Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz, Senegalese defensive magnate Kalidou Coulibaly, Belgian winger Dries Mertens and Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina.
Napoli has the strongest offensive line in the league with 32 points and the second strongest defense after conceding only eight goals.
Napoli are eyeing a tenth straight win domestically to consolidate their lead before the break this weekend due to the World Cup finals, or at least maintain the six-point gap that separates them from rivals Milan, who face a relatively easy test stare. against his eighteenth host, Cremonese.
Napoli also face a relatively tough trip on Saturday to Udinese, who were one of their rivals for the lead five seasons ago, during which the latter drew four times for one loss and fell to eighth place.
For its part, Milan will find no difficulty in clinging to the second place it snatched away from Atalanta in the last stage and continue its awakening when it is a guest of the 18th Cremonese.
Milan regained their composure after their shock 1-2 defeat against Turin in the penultimate leg, with a hard-fought victory over hosts Spezia on Saturday by the same scoreline.
Stefano Pioli’s fired-up men hope to reach the Champions League final for the first time since the 2013-2014 season, taking advantage of the shaken morale of the Cremonese players, the only team not to win so far did not taste in the league, and to stay in the runners-up before the expected summit at home against Fiorentina. Next Sunday.
Udinese have a chance to temporarily take third place from Lazio when they host 17th-placed Spezia today.
Udinese’s results have dipped recently as they failed to win five games in a row, and facing Spezia will be a golden opportunity for them to get back on the winning streak before they visit Napoli on Saturday.
Lazio will close the stage tomorrow by hosting newly arrived Monza and excited by defeating Verona, their fourth this season.
And Lazio, who grabbed third place from neighbors Roma after winning the capital derby 1-0 on Sunday, may find themselves in seventh place as rivals Atalanta, Juventus and Roma play ahead of them.
Atalanta will visit Lecce on Wednesday 16th in their bid to regain their balance after two defeats in their last three matches, which cost them relegation to fourth place.
Just like Atalanta, Roma will look to get back on track after two defeats in three games when they meet their thirteenth host, Sassuolo.
On the other hand, Juventus, who won the “Italy derby” against rivals Inter Milan with a clean sheet on Saturday, will record their fifth consecutive domestic victory when they host last-placed Verona on Thursday. in the hope of the top four qualifying places for the Champions League, which left it empty-handed from the group stage. He finished third in his eighth group.
Inter aim to erase the effects of their disappointment against Juventus, which halted their run of four consecutive victories when they host Bologna on Wednesday.
The task of Inter and coach Simone Inzaghi will not be easy against Bologna, who have won three in a row, led by their new coach, former international midfielder Thiago Motta. Tomorrow Fiorentina will also play Salernitana, and Torino will play Sampdoria.