|Italian Serie A 2014-15|
||vs|| A.C. Chievo Verona
ScheduleSunday, 14 September 2014 at 13:00 GMT / 14:00 UK / 18:30 IST
VenueStadio San Paolo
Next Sunday, 14th of September 2014, Napoli will entertain Chievo at the emblematic Stadio San Paolo for the second round of the Italian Serie A.
The new season is probably not going on as the majority of the Napoli supporters would have expected, as they saw their team pushed away from the UEFA Champions League group stage after being defeated by Athletic Bilbao on the playoff round. Not securing a place at the most important club’s tournament at the Old Continent is undoubtedly a major blow for the Gli Azzurri, both financially and in terms of prestige. Rafa Benitez’ boys didn’t have what it was necessary to overcome a fairly more consistent and organized Athletic Bilbao.
After such a disappointing stint at the Champions League, Napoli started the new Serie A with an important but difficult win at Genoa, although they only managed to net in the winning goal at injury time.
Napoli controlled large periods of the match and they even enjoyed a greater percentage of ball possession, nevertheless their performance was nothing but a shadow of what they did on several occasions last season. Rafa Benitez’ team still seems to be struggling to find their essence as their game style still looks somewhat rusty so far.
For the match against Chievo, the experienced Spanish manager will most certainly not able to rely on the contribution of the Algerian international defender Faouzi Ghoulam, since he is still sidelined due to injury.
As for Chievo, the Mussi Volanti started the new season off on the wrong foot as they were defeated at home by the reigning champions, Juventus, thanks to an own goal by Cristiano Biraghi. Chievo have failed to win any of their last five matches, after ending last season with two consecutive wins. The team from Verona is definitely not enjoying a very positive moment and their performance against the Vecchia Signora on day 1 was somehow mediocre.
For their difficult travel to Napoli, Chievo’s boss, Eugenio Corini, will probably have all his players at his disposal, although there are still some concerns surrounding the condition of the Serbian midfielder Ivan Radovanovic, who doesn’t seem to be 100% fit.
When both sides met at Stadio San Paolo last season, the match ended in a 1-1 draw with goals from Sardo to the visitors and from Albiol to the hosts. Regardless of what happened last season, Napoli are firm favourites to win next Sunday’s match.
Stats: W-2 L-2 D-1
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Stats: W-0 L-5 D-0
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Napoli (4-2-3-1) - Cabral - Maggio - Albiol - Koulibaly - Zuniga - Inler - Jorginho - Callejon - Hamsik - Insigne - Higuain
Chievo (4-3-2-1) - Bardi - Dainelli - Cesar - Biraghi - Frey - Izco - Birsa - Hetemaj - Mangani - Schelotto - Maxi López