Initial Observations and Head-to-Head
On Sunday, the season’s final day, champions Napoli visit demoted Sampdoria at Stadio Maradona. These two teams are at different ends of the Serie A rankings. While the Ligurian teams collapsed at the seams and would finish last regardless of the outcome this weekend, the Partenopei had a historic season that saw their 33-year search for a Scudetto finally end. Although Napoli’s recent performances have undoubtedly fallen short of their stellar performance for most of the season, they have been on a winning streak lately since they already have the championship locked up. Change is afoot in Campania, thanks to manager Luciano Spalletti’s decision to take a year off rather than defend the Scudetto and the inevitable departure of several key cogs in his well-oiled machine.
Along with defensive behemoth Kim Min-Jae, who so smoothly replaced Kalidou Koulibaly after coming last summer, star striker Victor Osimhen is on the wish lists of numerous teams, but his price tag climbed even higher this weekend, as he all but sealed the Capocannoniere title. Osimhen’s brace against Bologna, although ultimately only good enough for a 2-2 draw due to a second-half collapse, moved him three goals apparent of Inter’s Martinez’s goals in the top-scorer rankings and the Nigerian’s relationship with wing wizard Kvicha Kvaratskhelia has lit up arenas throughout the Italian peninsula and beyond.
Napoli Team News
After several weeks of rotation, Luciano Spalletti is set to choose his strongest available Napoli XI as he says farewell to Stadio Maradona on Sunday. However, due to his ban, Kim Min-Jae would be missing from the hosts’ back four, therefore Juan Jesus should take his place. Hirving Lozano, a Mexican winger, is also out with a knee injury. However, Mathias Olivera and Matteo Politano are hoping to recover from injuries in time to play, while Eljif Elmas returns to the team after serving a one-match suspension. Also Read:Barcelona beats 10-man Osasuna with the help of Jordi Alba’s goal.
Sampdoria Team News
Despite being winless for many weeks, Sampdoria manager Dejan Stankovic is poised to field a similar lineup in Naples, with only Abdelhamid Sabiri and first-choice custodian Emil Audero out. Martin Turk and Nicolo Ravaglia will compete for the number-one spot once more, this time behind a potential trio of Napoli players. Along with loanee Alessandro Zanoli on the right wing, veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella returns to the Maradona for what may be his last appearance, with Manolo Gabbiadini expected to join him up front. The latter scored 16 goals in 56 Serie A appearances for Napoli but has only scored once against his previous team in nine efforts for Samp.
Predicted Lineup and Scores
Napoli’s possible starting lineup: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Jesus, Rrahmani, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Elmas, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Sampdoria possible starting lineup: Ravaglia; Gunter, Nuytinck, Amione; Zanoli, Ilkhan, Winks, Augello; Leris; Gabbiadini, Quagliarella
Thank you for reading it. Leave us a comment if you liked it.
Have a good day ahead 🙂