Napoli are set to host Atalanta on Saturday 17 October as Serie A returns to domestic action following the international break.
The break came at an ideal time for Gino Gattuso’s side after they failed to show up to the Allianz Stadium for their scheduled fixture away to Juventus on Sunday 4 October.
Punishment has yet to be happened out to the Napolitains, with many expecting the defending champions a 3-0 victory for their opponents’ no show.
Local authorities prevented Napoli from leaving the region of Campania for their last fixture before the international fixtures.
Back on 27 September, I Partenopei hammered Genoa 6-0, but discovered that 22 of their opponents’ players and staff subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus. Napoli’s squad were then placed in quarantine, with Piotr Zielinski and Elif Elmas returning positive results.
Genoa’s scheduled match versus Torino the following weekend was subsequently postponed, but they are now set to return to face Hellas Verona on Monday 19 October.
Following two positive tests, local country restrictions prevented Napoli from fulfilling their fixture up north. However, the Italian FA may not be so forgiving when they determine the club’s punishment, which is expected to be announced before the weekend. Napoli had otherwise made an excellent start to the season – winning 2-0 away to Parma and their 6-0 win. Gattuso’s side were beaten in both of their fixtures versus Parma last season.
Zielinski would have been a huge loss versus Andrea Pirlo’s side given how important and influential in a central attacking midfield role. The Polish star started his 2020-21 campaign with a goal and assist in his first two matches. Meanwhile, Elmas came off the bench to score in the 6-0 thrashing of Genoa but hadn’t started either of their first two matches of the new season.
The Italian FA are not expected to reschedule the fixture, meaning Italian football fans and viewers worldwide are set to miss one of the most-anticipated games of the season as a result.
Good news out of the Stadio San Paolo over the weekend was that Napoli’s final round of COVID-19 tested all returned negative results, meaning the players and staff are all virus-free.
This means Napoli will be back in action to take on co-Serie A leaders Atalanta in one of the most-anticipated matches of the weekend, alongside the Milan derby which kicks off just over an hour after the scheduled finish of Gino Gattuso’s side.
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