Napoli vs Fiorentina preview

March 22, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Napoli vs FiorentinaHaving crashed out of Europa League both Napoli and Fiorentina will be hoping to enjoy some domestic success this weekend.

The game at Stadio San Paolo is also the final chance for Viola to revive their top 3 bid and keep their Champions League hopes alive.

After failing to progress from the Champions League group of death, Napoli were hoping to mount a serious title challenge in Europa League, but their bid is already over.

Having done well to eliminate Swansea in the first knockout round, the Azzurri crashed out of the competition after the 3-2 defeat on aggregate to FC Porto.

Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez’s side have done pretty well on the domestic stage, having cemented the third place in the league standings and qualified for Coppa Italia final, where they will be facing none other than Fiorentina.

However, the Azzurri first need to negotiate the league clash against Viola and ensure their Champions League berth does not come into danger, with Napoli 1.85 (17/20) favourites to claim maximum points.

Despite resuming training with the team, Camilo Zuniga is not yet ready to return, whilst Rafael Cabral and Christian Maggio remain on the sidelines.

Jorginho is set to be recalled as he was ineligible for the Porto clash, whereas Marek Hamsik, Jose Callejon and Anthony Reveillere are also pushing for starting places.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Reina – Reveillere, Albiol, Fernandez, Ghoulam – Jorginho, Behrami – Callejon, Hamsik, Mertens – Higuain.

Fiorentina, too, were eliminated in the Europa League Last 16 stage, but Vincenzo Montella’s side can be proud of their performances against one of Europe’s strongest teams.

Having done well to earn a 1-1 draw in Turin, Viola had the better of Juventus in the return leg, but were eventually beaten by perfectly executed free-kick by Andrea Pirlo.

Fiorentina now plan to focus on their league campaign and attempt to keep their Champions League hopes alive, and the only way to do that is to defeat Napoli on the road.

That will be no easy task given that Viola lost the reverse fixture 2-1, but bear in mind away win pays 4.75 (15/4) at BetVictor.

Vincenzo Montella welcomes back key midfielder Borja Valero from a three-match league ban, but David Pizarro looks set to miss out with a muscle strain.

Matias Fernandez should be back in contention, while Giuseppe Rossi, Ante Rebic and Ahmed Hegazy are out injured.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Neto – Roncaglia, Rodriguez, Savic, Pasqual – Aquilani, Ambrosini, Valero – Cuadrado, Gomez, Vargas.

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