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Preview: Udinese vs. Napoli - prediction, team news, lineups
20/09/2021 10:45:09

Udinese will host Napoli in Serie A on Monday evening, in a game that sees two in-form sides face off, with both teams enjoying unbeaten starts to the season.

The home side have collected seven points this campaign, while Napoli are two points better off than their opponents, having won all of their opening three fixtures.

We say: Udinese 1-2 Napoli

Udinese will be confident going into this fixture, although given their recent record against Napoli, getting anything from the game may be tricky. The visitors should have enough quality to win this encounter, however it will be a tough game that could be close.

Match preview

Udinese have enjoyed an impressive start to Serie A, winning two and drawing one of their opening three fixtures, scoring six goals and only conceding twice.

Last time out, they secured a 1-0 win away to Spezia, which came courtesy of a superb 89th-minute winner from substitute Lazar Samardzic.

The hosts are looking to begin the season with three victories from four matches for the third time in their history; they last achieved the feat in the 2014/15 campaign.

If the hosts are to collect the three points, then talisman Gerard Deulofeu will be important having scored in his last three Serie A home games, and a goal at the weekend for the 27-year-old would see him become the first Udinese player to net in four consecutive home league fixtures since Antonio Di Natale in December 2014.

Worryingly, their head-to-head record against Napoli is poor, having lost nine of the last 10 Serie A meetings, and their last victory against Monday's opponents come back in April 2016, when they emerged with a 3-1 win.

Luciano Spalletti's return to management has got off to a phenomenal start, with his Napoli side winning their first three Serie A fixtures, and they are unbeaten in all competitions, as Victor Osimhen's brace rescued a point for his side against Leicester City in the Europa League on Thursday.

Their last league fixture saw them come from behind to beat Juventus 2-1, with Matteo Politano and Kalidou Koulibaly getting on the score sheet for the side from Naples.

Like their opponents, Napoli have netted on six occasions in Serie A this term, and they have only conceded twice in their opening fixtures.

Napoli boss Spalletti is looking to win his first four Serie A games to begin a season for the second time in his career, after achieving it once before with Inter Milan in the 2017/18 campaign.

The away side scored seven goals in their two league fixtures against Udinese last term, so they will be confident of emerging victorious once again.

Team News

Udinese are still without long term absentee Ilijia Nestorovski, who is out after suffering a cruciate ligament injury.

Luca Gotti has no fresh injury concerns and the Udinese boss could name an unchanged side, in a bid to continue his team's outstanding start to Serie A.

Napoli will be without Diego Demme, Stanislav Lobotka and Alex Meret, who are all unavailable with injury.

Dries Merten and Faouzi Ghoulam both returned to training during the week, and the pair could come back into the squad for Monday, though they will likely start on the bench.

Marco Rui picked up a knock against Juventus last weekend and the left-back missed the Leicester game, but he did train on Friday so he could feature against Udinese.

Udinese possible starting lineup:

Silvestri; Becao, Nuytinck, Samir; Molina, Arslan, Walace, Pereyra, Stryger Larsen; Pussetto, Deulofeu

Napoli possible starting lineup:

Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Anguissa, Ruiz, Elmas; Politano, Insigne, Osimhen

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