Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Prediction: Udinese vs Napoli

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: BetUS

Having conceded their Serie A title to Inter Milan, Napoli remain in contention for European football next season as they prepare to face relegation-threatened Udinese on Monday evening.

Udinese, on the other hand, find themselves in a precarious position as they battle to avoid dropping from the Italian top flight. With just four games remaining, they are fighting tooth and nail to survive.

Udinese

Udinese find themselves stranded in Serie A’s bottom three, facing the looming threat of relegation as they struggle to maintain their top-tier status. The team’s recent form reflects their dire situation, having earned just two points from their last six matches.

Currently positioned 18th in the table, Udinese suffered a bitter setback against Roma, where they lost in the final minutes of their previously suspended contest. Their subsequent match against 10-man Bologna also ended in disappointment, with Martin Payero’s first-half goal not enough to secure an away victory.

Returning home, Udinese’s struggles continue as they have accumulated only 12 points from home games this season, winning just one of their 17 league matches at their home ground.

Under the guidance of new manager Fabio Cannavaro, Udinese face a daunting task as they prepare to take on Napoli, a team they have historically struggled against. Despite their efforts, the Fruilani have only managed to secure two points from their last 15 encounters with this opponent, conceding an average of nearly three goals per game. Their last league victory against Napoli dates back to 2016, highlighting the formidable challenge ahead.

Team News

Udinese are dealing with significant absences for this weekend’s match, with Florian Thauvin, Sandi Lovric, Lautaro Giannetti, backup goalkeeper Marco Silvestri, and long-term absentee Gerard Deulofeu, all unavailable.

Furthermore, Nehuen Perez and last week’s goalscorer Martin Payero are suspended for one match each, further depleting Udinese’s options.

In light of the situation, Lazar Samardzic is expected to step into midfield. The Serbia international, linked with a move to Napoli, has a strong track record against them, having scored twice in his last three league appearances against the Monday’s opposition.

Napoli

While Udinese’s situation is dire, Napoli haven’t fared much better lately, winning just one of their last seven Serie A matches. Despite goals from Mathias Olivera and Victor Osimhen, Napoli couldn’t secure a win against Roma last week, as Tammy Abraham’s late equalizer left them five points adrift of a guaranteed UEFA competition spot for next season.

Struggling to defend their title under three different managers, Napoli have gathered only 50 points so far this season, the same number they achieved in just the first half of their previous, Scudetto-winning campaign.

Interim coach Francesco Calzona, who recently led his side to a draw in the Derby del Sole, has won only three of his first 10 league matches. Rumors about the possible appointment of Antonio Conte as manager have circulated, but nothing concrete has materialized yet. With several other candidates under consideration by club president Aurelio Di Laurentiis, there’s pressure to make the right decision after a series of missteps since Luciano Spalletti’s departure.

Calzona’s focus will soon shift to leading Slovakia in the Euro 2024 finals, but before that, he must navigate Napoli through a challenging end to the Serie A season, including matches against fellow European contenders Fiorentina and Bologna after the trip north to face Udinese.

Team News

Unlike Cannavaro, Calzona will have close to his full squad to choose from in Udine. Only Piotr Zielinski will miss this trip.

Victor Osimhen’s future at Napoli remains uncertain, but his impressive record against Udinese, having scored in each of his last five matches against them, makes him a key figure and a nailed-on starter for this game.

The main selection dilemmas for Calzona revolve around the central midfield and left-back positions. Jens Cajuste and Hamed Traore are vying to fill Zielinski’s spot in midfield, while Mathias Olivera and Mario Rui are competing for the starting role at left-back.

Conclusion

With half of their league matches ending in draws this season, Udinese’s inability to capitalize on opportunities could ultimately cost them their Serie A status. Napoli, though also known to squander chances in the final third, should have enough in their locker to secure the three points at the Friuli.

Verdict: Draw

Best odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: BetUS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This field is required *

Join the conversation!

or Register

More More
Top