Saturday, September 22, 2018

Prediction: Napoli vs Crotone

Verdict: Napoli to Win to Nil

Best Odds: 85/40

Bookmaker: BetVictor

Crotone travel to Serie A runners up Napoli hoping to claim vital three points in their survival fight and perform a great escape at the eleventh hour.

Napoli

They have been applauded and lauded all season long for their high-tempo style of play and exhilarating football which earned them so many fans around the world but in the end, Napoli have little to be happy about as the 2017-18 season draws to a close.

Partenopei have once again failed to mount a Serie A challenge and turned their Scudetto marathon into a sprint, which left them without a breath in a crucial stage of the competition. Maurizio Sarri claimed his team lost the Serie A title in a hotel watching Juventus score two goals in last five minutes to beat Inter Milan 3-2, which was enough of a description of Napoli players’ mental state. An inconsistent spell which started with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of AS Roma in March is another reason for Napoli’s Serie A slump which saw them win 5 of their last 11 league matches. Summer of change is ahead of Napoli and the Crotone game could very well be Sarri’s final match in charge of the Partenopei. Low on confidence and self-esteem, Napoli players are still in debt towards their faithful supporters and will be expected to give their best to sign off with a victory.

Team News

Marek Hamsik could make his first-team return after starting from the bench for the last two games.

Milik could be a preferred choice upfront instead of exhausted Mertens, whereas Callejon and Insigne are expected to continue in their supporting forward roles.

Crotone

With only two defeats in their last seven league matches, lowly Crotone are showcasing admirable spirit as they keep fighting for their Serie A status. They managed to upgrade their play significantly over the past couple of weeks but the last two slip-ups against Chievo and Lazio could prove to be costly in the end.

Walter Zenga’s men are sitting 18th in the standings, level on points with SPAL and only one point behind Cagliari in 16th. With Verona and Benevento already relegated, the third Serie B slot remains wide open with no less than five teams still fearing for their life ahead of the final day of the season. Of all the teams struggling with relegation, Crotone have the most difficult task as they need three points against the Serie A runners up which in the end – although it would be a remarkable achievement – might not be enough to stay up. Their best hope is that SPAL end up losing at home to Sampdoria but winning under the Vesuvius is not an easy task to start with.

Team News

Benali and Budimir are both suffering from toe injuries and will be out of contention for the final day of the season.

Simy will lead the line in attack, whereas Rohdan is expected to start in front of Stoian in the midfield.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Napoli won 7 of last 10 home games in all competitions
  • Crotone registered 11 defeats in 15 matches on the road
  • Crotone failed to score a single goal in three games vs Napoli thus far
  • Partenopei kept a clean sheet in 4 of last 5 matches
  • Crotone need to pull a miracle and win in order to remain in the Serie A

Conclusion

Crotone will be hoping for a dream-like scenario in the final day of the season. The lowly Italian side will have to stun one of the best teams in the league and also hope other results will work their way in order to stay up. Walter Zenga did well to upgrade the team and lift the spirits but Napoli are simply a much better side which only lost three times thus far.

Verdict: Napoli to Win to Nil

Best Odds: 85/40

Bookmaker: BetVictor

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