What to Watch for: Fiorentina vs Napoli


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

SSC Napoli v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A

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

Three Keys for Napoli vs Liverpool


Champions League Group C is a tight one between leaders Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain and last year’s runner-up Liverpool entering the final round of play. As things stand, the Partenopei lead PSG by a single point, while holding a three point cushion over the English giants who they will pay a visit tonight at Anfield.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli can qualify for the Round of 16 through one of the following scenarios: 1) win or draw vs Liverpool, 2) lose by a goal, but score at least once (2-1, 3-2) and PSG wins/loses. Continue reading

Squad rotation continues to pay dividends for Carlo Ancelotti and Napoli

insigne (2)

Napoli turned around their UEFA Champions League Group C bout with Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, earning a 1-1 draw with strong second half efforts from Kalidou Koulibaly and Allan, as well as a cold-blooded penalty strike from Lorenzo Insigne.

As things stand, the Partenopei sit joint-first with Liverpool, and cling to a slight advantage on goal differential over the English outfits. Much of this success can be attributed to the individual efforts of many in the squad under manager Carlo Ancelotti. But, without question, the sharpness in play and positive results stem from the Italian’s meticulous approach towards tactical modifications and rotation. Continue reading

Ancelotti, Napoli look to rebound on home turf against Fiorentina


Napoli entered the recent international break with a sour taste in their mouth as the defeat away to Sampdoria 3-0 at the Marassi opened the Partenopei up for criticism.

While Fabio Quagliarella’s awe-inspiring back-heel goal went viral and stole most of the attention, the Scudetto hopefuls were lambasted for their collective effort, and now Carlo Ancelotti’s men enter must-win mode this weekend at home against a hot Fiorentina side in order to keep pace with Juventus at the top. Continue reading

Marek Hamsik excels in debut as ‘regista’ for Napoli


This past Saturday, the ‘Carlo Ancelotti Era’ at Napoli kicked off in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico versus Lazio, with the visitors leaving the Italian capital victorious by the scoreline 2-1.

Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik leveled terms on the stroke of half-time for the Partenopei after Ciro Immobile opened his account by taking full advantage of abject defending on behalf of Ancelotti’s men. A curling effort from Lorenzo Insigne towards Thomas Strakosha’s back-post ultimately proved decisive in the end, and while Napoli weren’t nearly as sharp or refined as Ancelotti would have liked, you cannot argue with a victory to open the new campaign. Continue reading

Carlo Ancelotti and Napoli work to establish Jorginho’s replacement


The Carlo Ancelotti era is officially underway in Naples for the Italian boss, with pre-season in full swing and preparations being made for his Napoli side to have another go at dethroning the mighty Juventus for the coveted Scudetto in 2018-19.

Thus far, president Aurelio De Laurentiis and his Partenopei have been relatively active on the transfer front, having already bolstered the roster with Simone Verdi, Alex Meret and Fabian Ruiz – among other acquisitions. On the departure side of business, veteran keeper Pepe Reina and Christian Maggio have moved on for free to Milan and Benevento respectively, while Duvan Zapata was sold outright to Atalanta after a solid loan spell at Sampdoria. However, no sale from the Serie A runner-up leaves a bigger void than midfield orchestrator Jorginho. Continue reading

Napoli Coach Carlo Ancelotti Should Consider Building His Midfield Around Jorginho


After months of speculation in the media surrounding his future at the club, manager Maurizio Sarri’s era as Napoli boss came to an end earlier this past week as president Aurelio De Laurentiis announced the chainsmoking Italian tactician would no longer be in charge.

Sarri, who has been at the helm of the Partenopei since 2015, transcended the way Napoli football was played with an aesthetically pleasing brand that earned widespread praise and plaudits across continental Europe.   Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 37


The title race has ended, but there is still a lot to play for in the final two rounds of Serie A. Here is the preview of the penultima one.

Inter-Sassuolo: both teams have won three out of their last four games. As a result, the Beneamata are now just two points behind Lazio and the head-to-head clash is coming next week, while the Neroverdi have secured a Serie A stay. Luciano Spalletti is getting excellent contributions from Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic, as usual, while Rafinha has finally notched his first Serie A and Marcelo Brozovic has emerged as their best central midfielder. Continue reading