Thursday, May 23, 2024

Last-chance saloon for Napoli in European race

SoccerNews in Serie A 16 May 2024

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Napoli’s Serie A title defence has long since ended, and they must beat Fiorentina on Friday to have any hope of playing in Europe next season.

Napoli strolled to the Scudetto last year, clinching the title with five games to spare and finishing 16 points ahead of runners-up Lazio.

This time around, it was Inter who wrapped up the league with five games remaining, while Napoli sit ninth in the standings, 41 points adrift of the leaders with a Europa Conference League spot their only hope of playing in Europe.

Napoli are without a win in their last five games, though even if they can get back to winning ways, their European hopes would be out of their own hands due to having played a game more than Fiorentina.

Fiorentina have won three of their last five league matches, and won the previous meeting between the sides 3-1, which could prove vital they end the season level on points and the head-to-head record comes into play.

Vincenzo Italiano’s side have already qualified for this season’s Europa Conference League final, where they face Greek side Olympiacos in Athens.

The Viola, unbeaten in Europe this season, are aiming to end the league campaign on a high and take that momentum into the final – they are looking to go one better than last year when they lost to West Ham in the final.

Napoli are likely to be without top scorer Victor Osimhen, who is a serious doubt due to a muscular problem. Fiorentina, meanwhile, welcome back Andre Belotti who missed Monday’s win over Monza.

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