Four Takeaways From Napoli’s Draw with Torino

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For the second week in a row, Napoli dominate the opposition and create the bulk of the chances, yet fail to capitalize as they were forced to settle with another 0-0 draw at home versus Torino Sunday evening.

With the Partenopei dropping four points over these previous two matchdays, they are now -13 from league leaders Juventus who basically have the Scudetto in the bag.

Here are four takeaways from the Partenopei’s scoreless stalemate. Continue reading

Napoli’s Alex Meret is back on the goalkeeping radar in Europe

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When teenage sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma overthrew Diego Lopez as AC Milan’s undisputed number one keeper back in 2016, and was tipped as the heir to heralded champion Gianluigi Buffon’s Azzurri throne, many other young shot-stoppers in Italy’s talent factory fell by the wayside.

Despite the long lineage of developing top keepers and track record of producing in both quality and quantity, the Mino Raiola-represented star seemed to be a notch above the rest the country’s domestic talent. But in 2017, it was Italy U-17 goalkeeping coach Fabrizio Ferron’s bold affirmation of another from Udine as being technically superior to the Rossoneri phenomenon ushering another into the conversation for the peninsula’s top goalkeeping talent. Continue reading

Four Takeaways from Fiorentina’s Scoreless Draw with Napoli

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By no means was it a simple task, nor the ideal route to a result Stefano Pioli drew up, but Fiorentina managed to snag a hard-earned point at the Franchi from Saturday’s encounter with Napoli.

The Partenopei were perhaps the better side on the evening, winning the possession battle (60% to 40%) and showing a bit more going forward that led many to believe they’d leave Florence victorious. But the lack of an end product and clinical touch to finish off counter attacks were ultimately the difference between a road victory and having to settle for the point.

Here are four takeaways from Fiorentina vs Napoli. Continue reading

What to Watch for: Fiorentina vs Napoli

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Off the back of a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Udinese, Stefano Pioli’s Fiorentina look to return to winning ways as they play host to second-place Napoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday.

Unlike the Partenopei who sit cozy in second with an 11-point advantage over Inter, the Viola are currently playing catch-up in the heated race for 4th and have their work cut out, trailing the likes of Lazio, Milan, Atalanta, Roma and Sampdoria.

Napoli managed to trim the deficit between them and Juventus back down to single digits last weekend with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria, and hope to narrow the gap even more at the Franchi – confines proving not so friendly for Fiorentina.

Here are five things to watch for in Fiorentina vs Napoli. Continue reading

Marek Hamsik’s curtain call opens the door for Amadou Diawara at Napoli

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Bombshell transfer news struck post-match of Napoli’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria at the Stadio San Paolo as Carlo Ancelotti revealed to the media “talks are in progress over a potential move” for Slovakian Marek Hamsik.

The eyebrow-raising Italian boss went on further to explain the Partenopei “will work to satisfy his wishes,” but according to Sky Sport’s Gianluca Di Marzio, it seems like president Aurelio de Laurentiis has already.

Di Marzio has reported the 31-year old, who has been a folklore hero in Naples for 12 years and is the club’s all-time leader in goals and appearances, will join Chinese outfit Dalian Yifeng for a fee of €15 million. He is expected to earn €9 million per season under a new three-year contract. Continue reading

What to Watch For: Napoli vs Sampdoria

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Another week, another enthralling round of Serie A fixtures beckons for calcio fans, none more intriguing and jam packed with storylines than Napoli vs Sampdoria at the San Paolo.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Partenopei look to rebound after bowing out of the Coppa Italia midweek at the hands of Krzysztof Piatek and Milan, while Marco Giampaolo’s Samp look to climb closer to 4th place in the league table.

With all of this in mind, here is what you should be watching for in Napoli vs Sampdoria on Saturday: Continue reading

Four Takeaways From Napoli’s 0-0 Stalemate with Milan

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Familiar faces met yet again last night at the San Siro as Gennaro Gattuso and his mentor Carlo Ancelotti squared off in a clash between Milan and Napoli.

The first half of action saw the Rossoneri assert themselves and threaten to go ahead, while the visitors swung momentum in their favor after the break only to see several attempts go awry.

In the end, the two played to a 0-0 draw. Here are four takeaways from the Partenopei’s stalemate in Milano: Continue reading

Player Spotlight: Napoli’s winter target Christian Kouamé

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Genoa’s breakthrough star Krzysztof Piątek, and his 13-goal scoring outburst, have unequivocally earned much of the attention around the Marassi this 2018-19 Serie A season; trailing only Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo (14) on goals will have such an effect. However, lost in all the fanfare and rumours surrounding the 23-year old’s white-hot start to life in Italy with the Rossoblu is his strike partner who, although does not rival his production, is the one generating the most buzz here in early 2019.

Let’s turn the spotlight on 21-year old Ivorian forward, Christian Kouamé. Continue reading

Italian football must protect its future and take a proactive stance against racism and violence

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“Certainly, this has been a week that must lead to a lot of reflection, in addition to the tragic death of a fan, reflection is needed on racist behaviour. Football as a whole cannot be demonised; social issues also need to be reflected on. If even the parliament descends into poor behaviour as was seen in today’s newspapers, it’s difficult to think about important concepts in the right way. We’ll start again from today, temporarily putting the incidents behind us while we wait for discussions on how to defeat this phenomenon. Continue reading

Spalletti: “Maximum concentration needed in view of Empoli game”

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Luciano Spalletti held his traditional pre-match press conference ahead of Inter’s crucial Serie A match against Empoli tomorrow afternoon. Inevitably, there was considerable attention placed on the shameful events which marred the Nerazzurri’s 1-0 victory over Napoli on Boxing Day. Here is what the 59-year-old tactician said to the journalists who gathered at the Suning Training Centre earlier today: Continue reading