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Apr 3, 2021 at 2pm UK
Insigne (19'), Osimhen (22'), Mertens (34'), Di Lorenzo (72')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Simy (25', 48'), Messias (59')
Rispoli (19'), Benali (67'), Pereira (78'), Rojas Zamora (87')

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

:Headline: Preview: Napoli vs. Crotone - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Napoli and Crotone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

High-flying Napoli host basement club Crotone on Saturday afternoon, hoping to claim all three points and move into the top four of Serie A.

The Azzurri have won eight of their last nine home matches in all competitions, while the visitors are one of only two teams in Europe's top five leagues – along with Bundesliga outfit Schalke – yet to win away from home this season.

Match preview

Napoli's impressive run of form, which has seen them accumulate 13 points from a possible 15 available, has propelled them back into the race to qualify for the Champions League.

After a hard-fought 1-0 victory away at AC Milan, Gennaro Gattuso's side secured another away victory against a top-six rival, most recently winning 2-0 at Roma just before the international break.

A first-half brace from Dries Mertens helped the Azzurri claim their 17th Serie A victory of the season and moved them up to fifth in the table, just two points behind Juventus in fourth and Atalanta in third.

Napoli head into Saturday's fixture having won all five of their previous meetings with Crotone in Serie A – their best win ratio against an opponent in the competition.

The Azzurri have also won their last five league matches at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium, conceding just one goal in the process; the last time they had a longer run of consecutive home league victories was in October 2017 (six), under former boss Maurizio Sarri.

Victory for Napoli could see them climb into the top four for the first time since mid-January if one of Juventus or Atalanta fail to win this weekend.

Crotone's hopes of retaining their Serie A status for another season are slowly fading as they suffered their 21st defeat of the season just before the international break, losing 3-2 at home to Bologna.

Strikes from Junior Messias and Simy gave the Pythagoreans a two-goal cushion heading into half time. However, they let that lead slip as three goals in the space of 22 minutes, including an 84th-minute winner from Andreas Skov Olsen, completed the comeback for Bologna, who secured all three points.

Serse Cosmi's side remain at the foot of the table, eight points from safety and travel to Naples as the only Serie A side yet to win away from home so far this season, losing 12 of their 14 games on the road.

Defensive frailties have been major issue for Crotone throughout this campaign, conceding a league-high 70 goals from their 28 matches, and they currently sit with a -38 goal difference, the worst of any side in the division.

They have also conceded two or more goals in each of their last 10 league matches; only Padova (14 in 1996) and Udinese (13 in 2018) have conceded as many in more consecutive games in Serie A history.

Crotone suffered a 4-0 defeat at home to Napoli in December and their chances of securing any points on Saturday are slim.

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

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

Crotone Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Napoli will be without goalkeeper David Ospina this weekend as he is suffering with a finger injury sustained in training, meaning that Alex Meret is set to start in goal.

Gattuso will also be without Stanislav Lobotka (tonsillitis), Andrea Petagna (calf), Amir Rrahmani (muscle) and Faouzi Ghoulam (knee).

With centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly suspended, Kostas Manolas is expected to partner Nikola Maksimovic in the heart of the defence.

After scoring twice against Roma, Mertens is likely to keep his place as the central striker ahead of Victor Osimhen.

For Crotone, left wing-back Arkadiusz Reca is back in contention to start, which will likely see Salvatore Molina revert to a central midfield role, replacing Jacopo Petriccione, who is suspended.

Forward Adam Ounas, who missed the defeat to Bologna, remains a doubt due to a minor muscle issue so Samuel Di Carmine and Simy are expected to start up front.

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Rui; Bakayoko, Ruiz; Politano, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens

Crotone possible starting lineup:
Cordaz; Magallan, Golemic, Djidji; Pereira, Molina, Benali, Messias, Rispoli; Di Carmine, Simy

We say: Napoli 4-0 Crotone

Napoli have won eight of their previous nine competitive home matches and in each they have scored the opening goal before the 34th minute.

Another strong start against basement club Crotone, who are one of only two teams across the top five European leagues that have not gained a single point from losing positions this season, should steer the Azzurri towards a comfortable victory.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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 2.5:data

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