Napoli can finally clinch the Scudetto after 33 years today when they face Udinese away at the Dacia Arena.
After Salernitana’s Boulaye Dia spoilt the party in Naples during the weekend and delayed Napoli’s Scudetto-winning celebrations, the Neapolitans have another chance tonight at Udine to clinch the Serie A title and put an end to their 33-year drought.
The league leaders could have been the champions yesterday but Lazio’s 2-0 victory over Sassuolo meant that they have to get a draw today in order to officially initiate the party at their home, Naples.
The title is firmly in Napoli’s hands and these are the times, they are relinquishing their formidable form over the season. Even if they lose today, they would just need to get a positive result in the next match. However, the players won’t be looking to prolong the celebrations for that long and finish the job today.
In their last match, full-back Matias Olivera’s header gave Napoli the lead and sent the crowd both in and outside the stadium in a thrilling revelry but Salernitana’s Baoulaye Dia had other plans as his curler in the 84th minute equalised the scores, thus aiding the Salerno side’s endeavour to secure survival and delaying the Scudetto handover to the hosts.
Meanwhile, Udinese will approach this match on the back of a 1-0 defeat against relegation-threatened Lecce.
Gabriel Strefezza was the scorer of a penalty for the Salentini as a lacklustre Udinese couldn’t gain any momentum during the match and succumbed to a tedious defeat.
Udinese’s last win against the Partenopei came back in 2016 and since then they have suffered five defeats and a draw. The Udine-based side started the season eloquently but soon fell out of favour and following a defeat to Lecce, lost their top-half place in the league standings.
Results from their last five matches across all competitions
L W L D W
D W D D L
Mario Rui will remain sidelined for the match for Napoli and last match’s scorer Matias Olivera is set to retain his place in the starting line-up.
The same starting line-up from the draw with Salernitana is expected to be fielded again by manager Luciano Spalletti
As for Udinese, Isaac Success and Beto could return from their injuries and feature in the match. Captain Roberto Pereyra will aim to support the returning Beto upfront.
Gerard Deulofeu and Enzo Ebosse remain sidelined for the rest of the season.
Udinese (3-5-1-1): Silvestri; Becao, Bijol, Perez; Ehizibue, Samardzic, Walace, Lovric, Udogie; Pereyra; Beto
Napoli (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Rrahmani, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Lozano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN