Lazio vs Napoli

February 1, 2016
By: Milos Markovic

Highlight game of the Italian Serie A round 23 is set to take place in Rome with struggling Lazio taking on the high-flying league leaders Napoli.

Inconsistency the problem

Lazio have seemingly put the crisis period behind them with three wins and as many draws in the Serie A up until the weekend, but the ill-tempered goalless draw against Udinese sad the Aquile fail to take the advantage in the game which both teams ended with a man down. Lazio started the game well, but were unable to use the numbers for much of the proceedings as Udinese’s Danilo saw red in the first half, leaving his team down to ten players on the field until the 85th minute when Lazio’s Matri was also sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct. Stefano Pioli was left frustrated with Udinese stalemate, but has thanked the fans for their continued support throughout the season. Trip to Udinese was a feisty affair as Lazio coach clashed with Udinese staff after the game as the tensions spilled out in a reported brawl in the tunnel. Pioli claimed that Udinese directors did not behave well towards the visitors and he will be willing to put the ill-tempered game behind him as quickly as he can. A draw at Udinese left Lazio in eighth place in the standings, six points behind the European places. Aquile are facing a stern test against the leaders in their midweek clash and will be lucky if they can get anything out of the fixture.

Pioli is having huge selection problems as there are five players in the treatment room. Stefan de Vrij is a long-term injury and he will not be coming back from his knee operation anytime soon.

Ricardo Kishna is out since December also with a knee problem, while Lucas Biglia, Edison Braafheid and Stefan Radu have all picked the knocks this January. Keita Balde is suspended for the occasion.

Unstoppable Napoli

Partenopei have once again demonstrated their quality, team spirit and resolve as they have recorded an impressive come-from-behind 5-1 win over Empoli at the weekend. The hosts went down at the half-hour mark as Empoli took the lead through Paredes, but Gonzalo Higuain struck back only three minutes after to get his team level on terms. The Argentine striker has scored his 22nd goal of the season extending his lead on the scoring charts. Former Real Madrid man has been in superb form this term and is one of the best players in the entire league. Insigne made sure that hosts go on the interval with a 2-1 lead, while Camporese’s own goal and Callejon’s double completed the scorings in this highly eventful encounter. Sarri’s troops have thus kept their two-point lead at the Serie A summit in front of persistent Juventus and trip to Lazio will be another stern test to their title bid. Considering the form they are in right now, though, Partenopei will have to be considered firm favourites to claim the maximum three points in Rome.

Alberto Grassi has had his knee operated in January and is set for a spell on the sidelines, but Maurizio Sarri has no other injury worries ahead of his trip to Rome.


Lazio did manage to improve their form a bit, but they still lack the cutting edge required to see off the in-form tittle runners such as Napoli. I see an interesting duel and another important win for the Partenopei.

Top pick: Away win    2.00 (1) @Coral

Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score – Yes   1.8 (4/5) @888sport

Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals   1.8 (4/5) @WilliamHill

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