Renato Dall’Ara, Bologna
Sunday, 6th December, 2015, 11:30 UKT
Serie A leaders Napoli take on relegation threatened Bologna at the Estadio Renato Dall’Ara arena in Matchday 15 of the Italian Serie A.
Napoli come into the match against Bologna on the back of a thrilling 2-1 win over erstwhile Serie A leaders Inter Milan. Maurizio Sarri has guided the Naples club to the top of Serie A for the first time since the days of Diego Maradona in 1990.
The Partenopei manager will be hoping to inspire his troops to retain their position at the helm of the league table by beating 18th placed Bologna on Sunday.
Bologna on the other hand are tottering at 18th position in the Serie A table with just 4 wins and 1 draw from their 14 matches. They will be looking to cause an almighty upset when they lock horns with league leaders Napoli on home territory.
Team News and Tactics
Roberto Donadoni’s Bologna side come into Sunday’s encounter with Napoli on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Torino last Saturday. That was Rossoblu’s first defeat since Roberto Donadoni took over the rein at the club from Delio Rossi in November. Prior to last week’s defeat to Torino, Donadoni had guided Bologna to 2 wins and 1 draw in his first 3 matches in charge of the club.
Matteo Mancosu, who started up front for Bologna last week against Torino, will most likely be replaced by former Roma striker Mattia Destro, who missed out last week after serving a one-match suspension. Bologna will be without the services of Emil Krafth, Maietta and Mancosu against the Partenopei due to injury.
Marios Oikonomou will be expected to start in place of Domenico Maietta in defence.
Probable Starting XI (4-5-1): Mirante; Rossettini, Oikonomou, Gastaldello, Masina; Donsah, Diawara, Brighi, Rizzo, Giaccherini; Destro.
Maurizio Sarri will most likely put out the same lineup that so successfully beat Inter Milan at the Stadio San Paolo last Monday. Belgian winger Dries Mertens is has recovered from injury but is expected to start from the bench against Bologna.
Former Liverpool goal keeper Pepe Reina, who has been a revelation in goal for the Partenopei this season, will start between the sticks against Bologna on Sunday. Sarri will be deploying the same back four comprising of Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly and Ghoulam that has served him so well this season.
Allan, Jorginho and club captain Marek Hamsik will most likely start in front of defence for Sarri as Napoli’s 3 man midfield. Callejon and local favorite Lorenzo Insigne will flank the in form Gonzalo Higuain in attack.
Probable Starting XI (4-3-3): . Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Higuain, Insigne.
- Napoli have kept a clean sheet in their last 5 away matches in Serie A. Napoli win or draw 1.10
- Napoli have won 8 of their last 9 matches in Serie A. Napoli win 1.45
- Bologna have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 5 matches against Napoli in all competitions. Over 2.5 goals 1.85
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Napoli’s last 3 away games in Serie A. Under 2.5 goals 1.95
- Napoli have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches against Bologna in all competitions.
Player to watch out for:
Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli)
A majestic brace from Napolia s Argentine hitman Gonzalo Higuain saw the Partenopei climb to the summit of the Italian Serie A at the expense of Roberto Mancinia s expensively assembled Inter Milan side.
Central to Napolia s dominance this season is the goal scoring form of El Pipita. Higuain, ridiculed mercilessly by social media after his penalty miss for Argentina in the final of the Copa America, has scored 14 goals for Napoli this season a averaging a goal every 94 minutes in all competitions.
If Higuain can repeat even half the heroics he produced on Monday against Inter, Napoli will fancy their chances of a comfortable win against Bologna.
Bologna 0 – 2 Napoli
High flying Napoli, who lead Serie A for the first time since 1990, will fancy their chances of coming away with all 3 points from the Estadio Renato Dall’Ara when they lock horns with Bologna on Sunday in the Italian Serie A. Bologna, who have won just four matches all season, will struggle impose themselves on Sarri’s resolute Napoli side. Although Bologna have played with a renewed vigour since the arrival of Roberto Donadoni at the helm of the club, tackling an in form Napoli side will prove to be one step too far for the Rossoblus.