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Napoli logo
Serie A | Gameweek 6
Sep 27, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Stadio Diego Armando Maradona
Udinese logo

4 - 1

Zielinski (19' pen.), Osimhen (39'), Kvaratskhelia (74'), Simeone (81')
Simeone (71')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Samardzic (80')
Perez (62')

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

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

Without a win in three Serie A matches, reigning champions Napoli host Udinese at Stadio Maradona on Wednesday.

Following a defeat and two disappointing draws - plus a public bust-up between their star player and manager - the Scudetto holders are under pressure to produce three points at home to winless opponents.

Match preview

Napoli coach Rudi Garcia on August 27, 2023© Reuters

After taking one point from two league fixtures either side of the international break, Napoli then managed to kick off their Champions League campaign with a nervy 2-1 victory in Braga; however, they stumbled again at the weekend.

Slipping further behind early Serie A leaders Inter, the Partenopei were held goalless by Bologna on Sunday, with Victor Osimhen missing a penalty and then arguing with coach Rudi Garcia when substituted late on at Stadio Dall'Ara.

Last season's Capocannoniere has now gone goalless through his last four games in all competitions - a notable drought by his own high standards - and much of the good feeling brought about by last term's title triumph has already dissipated; leaving Garcia under the spotlight.

Napoli lost their most recent match at Stadio Maradona, against Lazio at the start of September, and as they have not suffered successive home defeats in Serie A since December 2021, the French coach will be determined to nip his side's waning form in the bud.

Under predecessor Luciano Spalletti, Napoli finally ended 33 years of hurt in May, by playing out a tense 1-1 draw in Udine. That result mathematically secured the Scudetto and also continued a fine record against the Fruilani.

Napoli are unbeaten in their last 14 league matches versus Udinese, winning 12 times and averaging 2.6 goals per game in the process, so nothing less than victory will be acceptable on Wednesday.

Udinese coach Andrea Sottil on May 4, 2023© Reuters

While their hosts sit seventh in the Serie A standings, with an underwhelming tally of eight points, Udinese are stuck in the relegation zone after the first five league games of their 2023-24 campaign.

Andrea Sottil's side made a fast start last year, joining uncatchable pace-setters Napoli inside the top four at one stage, but their winless opening to this season continues a tough few months for the Friuli club.

In 2023, no team have won fewer matches in Serie A than Udinese - among teams taking part in Italy's top flight this term and last - and a 2-0 home defeat to Fiorentina last time out leaves them with just three points and one goal on the board.

A Coppa Italia success in early August remains the Bianconeri's only win since returning to action, but ahead of this week's trip down south, they have at least recorded draws in both of their away matches so far - against Salernitana and Cagliari.

However, history is stacked against Sottil and his injury-hit squad as much as recent form, considering Udinese have lost each and every one of their last nine league matches in Naples, last avoiding defeat with a 3-3 draw nearly 10 years ago.

Napoli Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D

Napoli form (all competitions):

Udinese Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

Udinese form (all competitions):

Team News

Napoli's Victor Osimhen celebrates scoring on May 4, 2023© Reuters

After a bad run of results and with a trip to Lecce up next, Napoli boss Rudi Garcia may make some changes to his starting XI on Wednesday evening, though main marksman Victor Osimhen is surely undroppable, despite the fallout from his withdrawal last weekend.

The Nigeria striker may have failed from the spot against Bologna and is without a goal in four games, but he has scored five times against Udinese in Serie A previously - his second-best tally versus any single side.

With defensive duo Amir Rrahmani and Juan Jesus out injured, Natan made his debut on Sunday, and the summer signing should again start alongside Leo Ostigard at the heart of the hosts' back four.

Ex-Udinese midfielder Piotr Zielinski has been involved in three goals in his last three home matches against his former club (two of his own and one assist), but Eljif Elmas may replace him; meanwhile, Matteo Politano could return on the right wing.

After Enzo Ebosse was recently ruled out for several months with an ACL injury, Udinese's infirmary is now overflowing: Keinan Davis, Christian Kabasele, Adam Masina, Gerard Deulofeu, Kingsley Ehizibue and Brazilian striker Brenner are also among those sidelined at the moment.

As the latter is still unavailable, Florian Thauvin and ex-Ajax striker Lorenzo Lucca are expected to continue up front, despite their lack of goals; Isaac Success is an alternative option.

Lazar Samardzic poses a threat from midfield, having scored the Bianconeri's only league goal of the season shortly after a move to Inter fell through last month.

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Ostigard, Natan, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Perez, Bijol, Kristensen; Ebosele, Samardzic, Walace, Lovric, Zemura; Thauvin, Lucca

SM words green background

We say: Napoli 1-0 Udinese

Lacking both the rhythm and spark of last season, Napoli are no longer the formidable force that swept aside all-comers up and down the Italian peninsula. They should, though, have enough in the tank to take care of goal-shy and injury-ravaged opponents on Wednesday; forcing Udinese to wait a little longer for an elusive first victory.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Napoli's Victor Osimhen celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 27, 2023
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