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Napoli logo
Serie A | Gameweek 38
May 26, 2024 at 5pm UK
Stadio Diego Armando Maradona
Lecce logo

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Preview: Napoli vs. Lecce - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Napoli and Lecce, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Napoli's disastrous Serie A season concludes at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday, with the Azzurri keen to end 2023-24 on a winning note against Lecce.

The Partenopei's Scudetto defence could be the second-worst in the three-points-per-win era if they fail to defeat Lupi.

Match preview

Napoli's Amir Rrahmani, Juan Jesus and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa react after the match on December 29, 2023© Reuters

While Napoli have only been beaten once by Lecce in the last seven league meetings, such positive statistics have not turned into victories for the Partenopei, whose inglorious title defence has jarred.

The Azzurri have 52 points after 37 games, nine more than AC Milan's 43 in 1996-97 and two fewer than Juventus' 54 in 1998-99. However, those previous returns came in the 18-team period in Serie A, further underlining Napoli's drop-off this term.

Francesco Calzona's men have won only one game since beating Juventus at the start of March — a 4-2 win at Monza in early April — with Champions League elimination in mid-March not improving results.

Atalanta BC's Europa League success against Bayer Leverkusen means ninth could suffice for continental participation in 2024-25, even if that requires Fiorentina ending no higher than eighth and defeating Olympiacos in next week's Conference League final.

Napoli are currently 10th, but they sit one shy of Torino who visit Gian Piero Gasperini's side, and the Partenopei aim to claim maximum points while hoping La Dea do them a favour in Bergamo to have any chance of featuring on the continent next season.

Lecce's Nikola Krstovic on November 11, 2023© Reuters

Lecce seek to put paid to any thread of hope that the home support have of featuring in Europe next term, although Lupi have failed to win in four straight games in Serie A, losing two and drawing as many in the competition.

Luca Gotti's men are assured of top-flight football next term despite flirting with relegation before the incumbent's arrival in March.

That leaves the Salentini with nothing riding on Sunday's game at the Maradona, even if they could avoid defeat for the third straight fixture in Naples after beating the Azzurri 3-2 two seasons back and drawing 1-1 last term.

That outcome could be possible, with Lecce losing just one of their last five road games — a 3-0 defeat at Milan in early April — but it depends on the away side's motivation on the concluding weekend.

Lupi currently sit 14th in Serie A, two places higher than their 16th-placed finish in 2022-23, and the possibility of the highest top-flight finish since 2004-05 (11th) could inspire them against the deposed champions.

Napoli Serie A form:

Lecce Serie A form:

Team News

Napoli's Victor Osimhen celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on April 28, 2024© Reuters

Victor Osimhen's participation is uncertain, although the striker could make the squad having trained on his own on Friday. No player in Serie A has scored as many as the Nigerian's eight goals since the start of February.

Mario Rui, Amir Rrahmani and Piotr Zielinski could miss out on Sunday, with the club revealing they did not train two days before the game.

Nicola Sansone (muscle) is missing Sunday's game while all four of Kastriot Dermaku, Lameck Banda Mohamed Kaba and Jeppe Corfitzen are absent because of knee injuries.

Nikola Krstovic, who has scored seven times in his debut season at Lecce, finding the back of the net twice and setting up one in his last five league appearances, could end the season positively at the Maradona.

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Ostigad, Jesus, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Cajuste; Politano, Raspadori, Kvaratskhelia

Lecce possible starting lineup:
Falcone; Venuti, Baschirotto, Pongracic, Gallo; Oudin, Blin, Ramadani, Dorgu; Krstovic, Piccoli

SM words green background

We say: Napoli 1-1 Lecce

While you are inclined to back Napoli to record maximum points on their last game of a wretched year, this side have stunk for much of this season, winning just one in 10 in Serie A.

Without a clean sheet since February and winless on home turf since early March, Lecce securing a point in Naples is a strong possibility on the final day.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

Q Germany Germany22006
2 Switzerland Switzerland21104
3 Scotland flag Scotland20111
4 Hungary Hungary20020

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
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4 Croatia Croatia20111

Group C

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Group D

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Group E

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4 Ukraine Ukraine10010

Group F

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4 Georgia Georgia10010

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