Verdict: Napoli win
Best Odds: 3/2
Desperate to try and find some stability as we inch closer to the Christmas break, Lazio will welcome Napoli to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night.
Starting with the hosts, while Lazio might have really impressed many across Serie A as they managed to secure a Champions League return last season, the Eagles have struggled to match that level this time around. Last seen earlier in the week when having to settle for a 1-1 draw away at top-flight returners Benevento, I Biancocelesti find themselves sat way down in ninth and are a side who are desperately seeking a bounce. Although Head Coach Simone Inzaghi might have seen his squad manage to secure their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, the Light Blues have managed to win just one of their last six contests across all formats. With their recent issues highlighted by a shock 2-1 loss against Verona on home soil last weekend, Lazio have also gained a real reputation for their continued issues at the Stadio Olimpico. Including a shock 3-1 drumming at the hands of Udinese last month, Sunday’s hosts have managed to win just one of their six Serie A home fixtures so far this season.
Lazio have confirmed that they will be without the likes of Patric, Francesco Acerbi, Senad Lulic and Vedat Muriqi.
However, in a boost for Sunday’s hosts, midfielder Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro is set to return this weekend.
As for the visitors, while Napoli might have put in a spirited display away at Inter Milan earlier in the week, Gli Azzurri did suffer a late 1-0 defeat at the San Siro and they will be seeking an immediate response this weekend. However, opening up Sunday’s fixtures sat just a single point adrift of climbing into the top-four, Gennaro Gattuso’s side did enjoy an overall eye-catching run of form during December. Still managing to collect nine points from their last 12 Serie A matchups, a run highlighted by back-to-back 4-0 romps against Roma and Crotone, the former AC Milan boss also saw his side book their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Europa League as Group F winners. With leading marksman Hirving Lozano bagging eight goals for club and country, including two in his last three Serie A appearances, Napoli should also be boosted by what is an eye-catching record against Sunday’s hosts. Landing a 3-1 romp when they last faced off against Lazio back in August, Gattuso’s men have won seven of their last eight meetings against the Eagles.
Napoli look set to once again be without the duo of Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens on Sunday night.
Winger Lorenzo Insigne will also start a suspension this weekend after being sent off against Inter Milan.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last faced off back in August, Napoli picked up a 3-1 romp on home soil.
- In fact, Sunday’s guests have remarkably won seven of their last eight meetings against Lazio across all formats.
- The Eagles have managed to win just one of their six Serie A contests on home soil since opening the 2020/2021 campaign.
- Lazio have also recorded just a single victory in their last six matchups across all competitions.
- Napoli have collected nine points from their last four Serie A contests on the road.
While Napoli might have seen their winning run come to an end away at the San Siro last time out, Gli Azzurri certainly enjoyed an eye-catching run of form during December. Knowing that three points this weekend could see them break back into the Champions League positions, Gennaro Gattuso’s men should be confident of cashing in on a struggling Lazio side. With Sunday’s hosts managing to win just one of their last six matchups across all competitions, Napoli should also be boosted by a rampant record against the Eagles. Including a 3-1 romp when they faced off against Lazio back in August, it should be noted that this weekend’s guests have remarkably won seven of their last eight meetings against I Biancocelesti.
Verdict: Napoli win
Best Odds: 3/2