Napoli welcome Fiorentina to the Stadio San Paolo Stadium on Saturday evening, with both sides struggling for consistency in Serie A.
The home side currently sit three points and three positions ahead of the visitors in 11th place, but have been poor by their usually high standards. Usually accustomed to scrapping with Juventus for the title, Gli Azzurri are well off the pace - and defeat could see them drop further down the table.
However, despite the two sides languishing in the bottom half of the table, both teams come into the game off the back of progressing to the quarter finals of the Coppa Italia.
Napoli triumphed in a 2-0 victory over Perugia, while Fiorentina battled to an impressive 2-1 win against Atalanta.
Here's 90min's preview of the game.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 18th January|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:45 (GMT)|
|Where Is It Played?||Stadio San Paolo|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||N/A|
Napoli have a lengthy list of injury concerns ahead of Saturday's clash, especially in the defensive third.
Kalidou Koulibaly (hamstring) heads a list of four defenders who could miss out, with Nikola Maksimović (hamstring), Faouzi Ghoulam (leg), Kevin Malcuit (knee) also struggling. Dries Mertens is a doubt with a hip problem,
Injury to Franck Ribery aside, Fiorentina
|Napoli||Ospina; Hysaj, Manolas, Luperto, Lorenzo; Allan, Zielinski, Ruiz; Callejón, Milik, Insigne.|
|Fiorentina||Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Cáceres; Lirola, Benassi, Pulgar, Castrovilli, Dalbert; Chiesa, Vlahovic.|
In spite of Napoli's underwhelming form, they have triumphed in five of their previous six home matches against Fiorentina, who themselves have beaten Napoli in just one of their last ten attempts in Serie A.
When the two sides met in the first half of the season, Napoli emerged victorious in a thrilling 4-3 away win. This was the 158th meeting between the two rivals, and Napoli's 54th victory; they are edging ever-closer to matching Fiorentina's superior record of 56 wins.
As previously mentioned, both sides have been incredibly disappointing throughout the 2019/20 season. Napoli have won just one of their previous five matches, with just six victories from 19 matches thus far. They have also lost their last three home fixtures in the league.
Fiorentina recorded their first win in five last weekend after defeating SPAL 1-0, with midfielder Germán Pezzella netting an 82nd minute winner. However, their away form is a cause for concern, with their last win away from home coming at the end of October.
Here's how both sides have performed in their last five games.
|Napoli 2-0 Perugia (14/01),||Fiorentina 2-1 Atalanta (15/01)|
|Lazio 1-0 Napoli (11/01)||Fiorentina 1-0 SPAL (12/01)|
|Napoli 1-3 Inter (06/01)||Bologna 1-1 Fiorentina (06/01)|
|Sassuolo 1-2 Napoli (22/12)||Fiorentina 1-4 Roma (20/12)|
|Napoli 1-2 Parma (14/12)||Fiorentina 1-1 Inter (14/12)|
In normal circumstances, Napoli would consider themselves favourites in a clash such as this. However, their recent home form in the league suggests they might struggle to pick up the three points, even they tend to overcome Fiorentina when visiting the San Paolo.
However, Fiorentina's poor away record of late means that both sides come into this game in an inconsistent vein of form. Both teams and their new managers have yet to find the level of performance expected, so expect a low-scoring affair between two closely matched sides.
Prediction: Napoli 1-1 Fiorentina