Italian league leaders make a trip to Salerno on Saturday night.

Napoli enters this encounter with Salernitana with a strong conviction but has been on a topsy-turvy run in recent weeks. Napoli humiliated their rivals Juventus by 5-1 in Serie A. Though, the Capocannoniere were shocked by Cremonese in Coppa Italia who have not managed a single win in Serie A this season. Although it was a shocking exit for Luciano Spaletti’s men from Coppa Italia. They have been relentless domestically as they have shown no signs of slipping up from the top spot.

The “Winter Champions” lead the league by a hefty nine points now halfway down the season and have been on an amazing goal-scoring spree. Spaletti’s team have also scored four or more times in five separate domestic games this season, a feat only achieved by Bayern Munich this season in Europe’s top five leagues. They are now set to face the side from Salerno with the leakiest defence in Serie A.

Salernitana on the other hand has had some major decisions to make in recent weeks. After getting thrashed by Atalanta (8-2), Davide Nicola was sacked only to be brought back after two days after this announcement. They also have had a terrible start to 2023 and have the leakiest defence in the league conceding 35 times out of the 18 matches they have played.

Sitting at 16th in the table, their run of form could go from bad to worse if Verona and Sassuolo avoid slip-ups. The arrival of Guillermo Ochoa has certainly revitalized them but they will have to perform diligently to avoid getting dragged into the relegation battle.

Kick-off: Saturday, 21st January, 10:30 pm (IST), 05:00 pm: (GMT)

Salernitana form (all competition): L-D-L-L-L

Napoli form (all competition): L-W-W-L-L

Player to watch


Guillermo Ochoa

Ochoa’s club career may not have hit the heights he would have wanted but on the international stage, it’s a different story. The Mexican came from Club America in Liga MX and has made three appearances already without conceding a goal. If Davide Nicola and his men have any hopes of keeping Osimhen and his compatriots at bay, they will have to bank highly upon him.


Victor Osimhen

Simply put, the man is constantly trying to use his off-the-ball pace to find quality scoring chances by getting on the blindside of defenders. Many of his runs tend to originate from the central zones. Whether they are burst into the half-spaces (particularly the right one) or a straight-line dash forward. He has already scored 12 times in the league this season and has 4 assists in his name. He also must have been waiting for this much-awaited trip to Salerno to increase his goal tally.

Match facts

  • The last time they met each other in the league was on 31st October 2021 when both teams played with 10 men. Napoli emerged victorious by a slight margin of 1-0 with Piotr Zielinski scoring the winner.
  • Salernitana were stranded at the bottom of the league at this point of the season last time around but find themselves in a much safer position now as they are 9 points above the drop zone.
  • Napoli could become only the fourth side to rack up a half-century of points at the halfway stage in the history of Serie A by beating Salernitana.

Injury and team news

There are some major injury concerns for Davide Nicola as Pasquale Mazzocchi (knee), midfielder Guilio Maggiore (thigh) and goalkeeper Luigi Sepe (calf) are all sidelined again. Flavius Daniliuc will return from suspension and therefore expected to get a run out in the defence.

It is expected that Luciano Spaletti will be returning to his former XI after he fielded a much-shuffled side against Cremonese in the Coppa Italia. Mario Rui and Victor Osimhen are like-for-like replacements and are assured to get back in the Starting XI. Giovanni Di Lorenzo might get the nod ahead of loan signing Bartosz Bereszynski. While Matteo Politano has some concerns regarding his calf injury. Also, Kvaratskhelia has shrugged off the flu and is expected to be back in the starting lineup for The Capocannoniere.

Head-to-Head stats

Matches: 6

Salernitana: 0

Draws: 2

Napoli: 4

Predicted lineup

Salernitana predicted lineup (3-5-2):

Ochoa; Gyomber, Daniliuc, Pirola; Candreva, Nicolussi, Coulibaly, Bohinen, Bradaric; Bonazzoli, Dia

Napoli predicted lineup (4-3-3):

Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Rrahmani, Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Lozano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia


It is very unlikely that the league leaders will slip up in their venture to The Arechi as Salernitana looks all out of sorts in the backline. Conceding a hefty 19 times in the opening 45 minutes of this season, therefore it will be very difficult for Davide Nicola’s men to stop the likes of Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia who have been relentless in the forward line. A victory is on the cards for the side from Naples according to the recent run of form of both these clubs.

Prediction:  Salernitana 0-3 Napoli.

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