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Serie A | Gameweek 11
Oct 31, 2021 at 5pm UK
Stadio Arechi
Napoli logo

0 - 1

Kastanos (70')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Zielinski (61')
Zambo Anguissa (41'), Rui (74')
Koulibaly (77')

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

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

Relentless leaders Napoli take the short trip to meet Salernitana on Sunday, as they attempt to maintain their stunning start to the Serie A season.

A Campanian derby at Stadio Arechi will bring together the division's top side and one sitting 19th following their first away win of the season in midweek.

Match preview

Napoli's Victor Osimhen celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on October 17, 2021© Reuters

Dropping their first points of the league season last weekend - as they were held to a goalless draw by Roma - had little effect on Napoli, it seems, as they went on to beat Bologna 3-0 on Thursday night and re-establish themselves at the summit of Serie A.

A delicious Fabian Ruiz effort from the edge of the area put the home side in front, and they doubled their advantage just before the break, as Lorenzo Insigne bounced back from a couple of recent misses to convert a penalty awarded for a handball by Gary Medel. Then, the Napoli captain added another spot kick to seal the deal in the second half.

The Partenopei have now gone unbeaten in 16 successive Serie A games at Stadio Maradona and are closing in on a streak of 18 set back in 2019. Such strength on home turf has seen them move ahead of closest challengers Milan on goal difference, plus seven and a remarkable 13 clear of defending champions Inter and Juventus respectively.

To date this term, Luciano Spalletti's men have been almost equally impressive on the road, having won four of their five away fixtures in domestic competition.

Therefore, a visit to modest Salernitana will hold no fears for an outfit capable of scoring from a number of sources and that have conceded just three league goals this term - at a rate of less than one per three games.

They have not met their Salerno-based counterparts in a competitive match since a Coppa Italia encounter over a decade ago, so the Neapolitan fans will be eager to celebrate regional supremacy on Sunday, before their team return to Europa League action next week in Warsaw.

Salernitana players line up before their match against Roma on August 29, 2021© Reuters

A flood of relief sweeping through the Salernitana squad when Andrea Schiavone netted a late winner in midweek was all the more intense as they sought to make the most of the last in a favourable run of fixtures.

Six straight games against sides who joined the Granata in the bottom half concluded on Tuesday, with a visit to Venezia's unique Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo. Both sides were promoted from Serie B last season, and Salernitana trailed their hosts by four points ahead of the game, leaving them rooted to the foot of the table.

However, their Franck Ribery-inspired 2-1 victory - in which they sent in 21 attempts on goal to Venezia's eight - indicates that the side recently taken over by former Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono will not give up their hard-earned Serie A status without a fight.

They are now a point above rock-bottom Cagliari in the standings and sit just one point adrift of the cut mark with a quarter of the campaign completed.

A slow start under previous boss Fabrizio Castori may end up being costly in the end, though, and the odds are stacked against them in the local derby this weekend. Certainly, having leaked goals at a rate of more than two per game so far, their defensive flaws do not match up well with their Neapolitan neighbours' exceptional forward line.

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

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

Napoli form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti gives instructions to his players on October 17, 2021© Reuters

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti returns to the touchline at the Arechi, after serving a suspension for being sent off against former club Roma last weekend.

Star striker Victor Osimhen - who has a calf injury - Kostas Manolas and Adam Ounas are expected to be sidelined for Spalletti's side this time out, as he resists the temptation to rotate his resources following Thursday night's fixture.

Amid a frantic period of fixtures at home and abroad, Diego Demme and Matteo Politano may be handed starts in midfield and out wide respectively, while club record scorer Dries Mertens and the more traditional targetman presence of Andrea Petagna provide differing options to replace Osimhen up front.

Though they will benefit from two days more than their visitors to prepare for the game, Salernitana have several injury problems to contend with, as Lassana Coulibaly and Matteo Ruggeri are both struggling with hamstring injuries.

Luka Bogdan, Leonardo Capezzi and Mamadou Coulibaly all undertook individual training during the week but remain doubtful, while recent COVID-19 sufferer Frederic Veseli also returned to the squad and could be involved.

As Stefano Colantuono has a number of attacking options, he could choose to bring Simy or Cedric Gondo back into the starting XI, joining Franck Ribery and Milan Djuric up front.

Salernitana possible starting lineup:
Belec; Zortea, Strandberg, Gagliolo, Ranieri: Di Tacchio, Obi, Kastanos; Ribery, Djuric; Simy

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui; Demme, Anguissa, Zielinski; Politano, Mertens, Insigne

SM words green background

We say: Salernitana 0-2 Napoli

Failure to come out on top in this local rivalry - rarely staged over the past 20 years due to the gulf in stature between the clubs - would represent a major shock for Napoli.

However, their clear-minded and clinical approach under Luciano Spalletti will ensure that does not happen in Salerno, so they can add another three points to their spectacular tally before their return to continental competition on Thursday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

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Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a Napoli win with a probability of 64.33%. A draw had a probability of 20.5% and a win for Salernitana had a probability of 15.12%.

The most likely scoreline for a Napoli win was 0-2 with a probability of 11.47%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 0-1 (11.38%) and 1-2 (9.85%). The likeliest drawn scoreline was 1-1 (9.77%), while for a Salernitana win it was 1-0 (4.85%). The actual scoreline of 0-1 was predicted with an 11.4% likelihood. Our data analysis correctly predicted that Napoli would win this match.

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Fabian Ruiz in Coppa Italia action for Napoli on February 12, 2020
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