What to Watch For: Torino vs Napoli

Round 7 of the still young 2019/20 Serie A season is highlighted by the Derby d’Italia between first place Inter and reigning 8-time champions Juventus for what has already been confirmed to be a record-setting gate attraction for the affair, generating €6,5 million.

However, there are plenty of intriguing matches taking place elsewhere across the continent, including Turin where Walter Mazzarri’s Torino will host Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli.

Here are five things to watch for on Sunday. Continue reading

Napoli Player Ratings vs Cagliari

The Round 5’s biggest upset arrived in Naples Wednesday evening as substitute veteran Lucas Castro’s header in the 87th minute dealt Napoli a gutwrenching 1-0 defeat.

Spoiling far too much of their chances in the opposition‘s third, this one showed shades of the 2018/19 season for the Scudetto contenders as they too often struggled to pull ahead and put this one to bed. Throw in the fact both Juventus and Inter managed to come out with wins despite the quick turnaround in the schedule and this one will certainly leave a sour taste in Napoli’s mouth as they head into the next phase of the campaign.

Here are the player ratings for Carlo Ancelotti’s men in the defeat. Continue reading

Napoli’s vacant lead can be Amin Younes’ perfect audition for Ancelotti’s casting call up front

Depth is of paramount importance to any title contender looking to take the next step with their project and propel themself into the upper echelons of football’s best. A simple inventory check of their reserves paints a very clear picture of which clubs have a strong 11-13 and who has strength in numbers up and down the teamsheet.

Believe it or not, but you can tell an awful lot about what a club’s objectives are and where they are headed based on the quality of their 14th, 15th and 16th player. For instance, Juventus, Napoli’s main nemesis, have a star-studded XI, but a stocked second team that is quite capable of competing at a high level.

On matchday 1 vs Parma, the Bianconeri‘s bench included the following notables: Gianluigi Buffon, Emre Can, Mario Mandzukic, Matthijs de Ligt, Paulo Dybala, Adrien Rabiot, Juan Cuadrado, Rodrigo Bentacur and Federico Bernardeschi. This list excludes Aaron Ramsey who, although injured, will likely be one of the first names summoned, lending even more credence to a Maurizio Sarri squad equipped to navigate a long, grueling season and last in the end.

So, if Carlo Ancelotti and Napoli‘s aim is to knock Juventus from off their perch and dethrone them as Serie A champions this season, then it will take all hands on deck and elevated performances from those fringe players with something to prove, including Amin Younes.  Continue reading

2019 Summer Transfer Window Report Card: Napoli

The summer transfer window officially closed shop on Monday in Italy, with several clubs managing to get some last minute shopping done – including Napoli who secured the rights of Spanish striker Fernando Llorente on a free transfer after his contract with Tottenham ran down.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the Partenopei’s purchase business and hand them a grade. Continue reading

Napoli Player Ratings vs Juventus

Serie A’s marquee matchup of round 2 lived up, then exceeded, all hype and expectations as Juventus and Napoli played to a theatric 4-3 result, with the Bianconeri managing to come out on top after squandering a three-goal lead in the second half.

Here are the player ratings for Carlo Ancelotti’s Partenopei on the night in Turin. Continue reading

Five keys to Juventus vs Napoli

This weekend of the 2019/20 Serie A season is one of the more anticipated rounds, with it having been circled on the calendar ever since it came out last month.

Saturday evening sees two of the league‘s main title contenders pitted against one another at Juventus Stadium in Turin as Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus play host to Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli. Though the attention and buzz surrounding this fixture stems from Sarri’s first match against his former club, his status for the bench remains unclear at the moment. In any case, this clash promises to deliver plenty of excitement, tension and drama.

Here are five key elements which could determine the outcome of this round 2 encounter. Continue reading

Player Performance: Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne vs Fiorentina

Of the ten matches on tap last weekend to kick off the 2019/20 Serie A season, it was Fiorentina and Napoli inside the Stadio Artemio Franchi that provided the most action and drama. Serving as the perfect showcase for what people can expect from calcio, the thrilling, seesaw affair in Firenze, which saw the pendulum swing back and forth throughout with a full helping of goals pouring in from all over, ultimately ended with Carlo Ancelotti’s Partenoepei prevailing 4-3 over the Viola.

From a tactical standpoint, there is plenty to dissect and digest here. However, let’s break down the performance of one individual footballer who asserted himself on the pitch, stat sheet and scoreboard, Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne. Continue reading

SERIE A ROUND 1 MATCH PREVIEW: Fiorentina vs Napoli

The players returned from summer holiday with their families, have been training regularly and are now ready to hit the pitch once again for their respective clubs as the 2019/20 Serie A season commences this weekend in Italy.

For Round 1 of action, our attention turns to one of the opening weekend’s main events on the peninsula as Fiorentina play host to Napoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Firenze.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the clash. Continue reading

Five Napoli players with something to prove in 2019/20

As the clocks ticks away on Italy’s transfer window, several of Serie A’s biggest clubs remain active on the market, including Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli who, with an additional signing or two, will be well positioned and poised to give eight-consecutive title winners Juventus a real run for their money.

In the meantime, while business continues to be sorted out off the pitch, action returns on it with round 1 of the 2019/20 campaign to commence this weekend. Let’s assume the Partenopei remain as is for a moment with the current squad intact. Here are five players poised for solid seasons and with something to prove for the Scudetto contenders.

Continue reading

The Top Five Managers From the 2018/19 Serie A Season

Gian-Piero-Gasperini

Finally, we end the series with the ‘allenatori,’ the men in charge of the day to day and marathon that is 38 crucial rounds of calcio.

Here are the five best managers from this past season. Continue reading