Preview: Verona vs Napoli

Verona potentially couldn’t have hand-picked a better opponent than Napoli to open the new campaign against, having only collected more SA wins against Cagliari and Fiorentina (14) than their 13 against Napoli. However, just one win from their last five home H2Hs against them (L4) suggests this game might not be the straightforward evening Verona fans will hope for to kick-start their season.

Despite being involved in the title race for the most part of last season, Napoli slumped to a third-place finish, though that was in fact their highest since 2019/20. Three-straight wins ‘to nil’ closed-out last season for Napoli, and another such victory here would mark only the third time in history the ‘Azzurri’ have won four successive SA games with an accompanying clean sheet.

However the high-profile departure of Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea leaves a gaping hole in the Napoli defence and raises questions of their credentials to secure that little piece of history here. Big money was spent on South Korean defender Kim Min-jae to plug that hole, and with Napoli taking the SA crown for away clean sheets last season (nine), all eyes will be on how he marshalls their usually dependable back-line.

Players to watch: Verona’s Kevin Lasagna has netted three SA goals against Napoli in his career, but has never been on the winning side in a personal SA H2H (D4, L6). Meanwhile, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen netted either side of half-time the last time these two sides met.

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Dawidowicz, Gunter, Amione; Faraoni, Tameze, Ilic, Barak; Lazovic; Henry, Lasagna

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim, Mario Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Elmas; Lozano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia

Prediction: Over 0.5 First Half

Key Points In This Match:

  • With some influential names missing from this Napoli squad, they are heading somewhat into the unknown this season. However, with Verona under new leadership, we feel that the visitors should have enough quality to edge what should prove to be a tight contest.
  • Verona’s 15 SA goals in the opening 15 minutes was a league-high last season

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