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Oct 3, 2021 at 5pm UK
Martinez (28')
Bonaventura (31'), Martinez (36'), Italiano (41'), Pulgar (52')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Lozano (39'), Rrahmani (50')
Zambo Anguissa (54'), Rui (67'), Demme (90+1')

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

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

Despite a second successive European setback in midweek, Serie A leaders Napoli visit in-form Fiorentina on Sunday evening, still boasting a perfect record in the league.

The Partenopei may have swept aside all-comers in the opening weeks of the season, but their resurgent hosts are on a run of four wins from five and sit fifth in the standings.

Match preview

Establishing a two-point lead over Milan at the summit of Serie A with a series of sublime displays and some clinical finishing, Napoli went into their Europa League clash with Spartak Moscow in good spirits and seeking a first win of their continental campaign.

However, their performance in a 3-2 defeat to the Russian outfit suggested that Luciano Spalletti's men were already thinking about Sunday's fixture in Florence - leaving them with just a solitary point from their first two Group C matches.

They therefore resume domestic action at Stadio Artemio Franchi with perhaps a point to prove, as they have set the standards in Italian football over the past few weeks, earning Spalletti the Serie A 'Coach Of The Month' award for September after six wins in six league games.

Boasting the division's second-best attack with 16 goals and the meanest defence - with only two goals conceded - certifies the fine work done by the former Roma boss and his coaching staff since their summertime arrival.

The Azzurri's most recent Serie A success was a 2-0 win over Cagliari - with star striker Victor Osimhen on the scoresheet once again. Having added to his tally with a stoppage-time strike in midweek, after being called upon at half time, the former Lille striker has established a reputation as a forward to be feared.

Osimhen's seven goals in as many competitive outings have been instrumental in the Neapolitans' scintillating start to the 2021-22 campaign, and he is now set to play a part in their quest to win all of their first seven matches for just the second time in their history.

In Fiorentina's last 12 Serie A matches at home to Napoli, they have come out on top only once - with their Campanian counterparts winning six times and drawing the other five. Not only that, but they effectively lost 8-0 on aggregate to the Azzurri home and away last term.

Such a dire record against them tells the tale of the Viola's descent into mediocrity in recent years, but a promising start to the current campaign has got Florentine fans dreaming of a return to Calcio's top table.

Indeed, Fiorentina are enjoying a new lease of life under highly-rated coach Vincenzo Italiano, who only took the top job in Tuscany after former Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso left less than a month after joining.

Only a second-half fightback from Inter a fortnight ago saw their absorbing encounter with the champions end in a 3-1 loss - a particularly flattering outcome for Simone Inzaghi's side - before they went on to edge past Udinese last time out, courtesy of an early Dusan Vlahovic penalty.

Top scorer in Florence last season, the young striker has netted four times in Serie A so far, and the last player to score five or more goals in Fiorentina's first seven games of a campaign was Giuseppe Rossi back in 2013.

Enjoying much better service this term due to Italiano's approach and some astute signings at Stadio Artemio Franchi, the Serbian international will fancy his chances of matching or surpassing that tally this weekend - even against one of Europe's currently tightest defences.

Fiorentina Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

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

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

Team News

Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne is set to lead the visitors' attacking efforts at the Franchi on Sunday, after having a hand in eight goals - five of his own, plus three assists - in his last four league matches against Fiorentina.

Though Dries Mertens and Andrea Petagna are both available for selection, he will make another start alongside Victor Osimhen up front.

As well as Osimhen's return to the first XI after playing only the second half in midweek, Amir Rrahmani is expected to return for Kostas Manolas in defence, while Andre-Frank Anguissa comes back in the engine room - with Hirving Lozano and Matteo Politano again contesting one spot on the right wing.

Goalkeeper Alex Meret completed his return from a back injury by starting in the Europa League, but could also be benched again, in favour of recent regular David Ospina.

The hosts, meanwhile, will welcome back summer signing Nicolas Gonzalez after he served a suspension last weekend, but Italy international Gaetano Castrovilli will not be back from a chest injury suffered against Genoa until after the international break.

Due to Gonzalez's probable return to Fiorentina's starting lineup, either Riccardo Saponara or Jose Callejon will drop out of the wide pairing that supports star striker Dusan Vlahovic.

In midfield, Sofyan Amrabat has been pushing for a recall with some substitute appearances of late, but Alfred Duncan may once again beat him to a start.

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Dragowski; Odriozola, Milenkovic, Igor, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Torreira, Duncan; Callejon, Vlahovic, Gonzalez

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui; Anguissa, Ruiz, Zielinski; Insigne, Osimhen, Lozano

We say: Fiorentina 1-1 Napoli

Fiorentina and Napoli have conceded the joint-fewest goals in the first half of Serie A matches ahead of this intriguing contest, with both clubs having let just one goal in before the interval in six games so far.

It could, therefore, be a tense affair despite either side's attacking abilities - with the visitors set to drop their first points of the campaign against much-improved opponents.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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