Sunday, October 24
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Oct 17, 2021 at 5pm UK
Osimhen (81')
Koulibaly (79'), Zambo Anguissa (85')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Rodriguez (37'), Linetty (55'), Pobega (75'), Milinkovic-Savic (90+7')

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

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

As Serie A returns after the international break, league leaders Napoli seek to prolong their perfect start with a win over Torino, who they have dominated in recent times.

The teams convene at Stadio Maradona on Sunday, with the hosts close to matching a club record and the away side hoping to bounce back from derby defeat last time out.

Match preview

With a win on Sunday evening, Napoli would equal the best start in their long Serie A history, as they aim to win each of their first eight games - a feat previously achieved in 2017-18.

The Partenopei may have struggled to make an impact on the Europa League stage so far, but they have been ruthless conquerors up and down the Italian peninsula; leading the pack by two points from closest challengers Milan.

By virtue of some impressive performances and clinical finishing, Napoli have set the standards in Calcio over the opening weeks of the season, and Luciano Spalletti's free-spirited side have had more shots on target than any of their domestic competitors this season (48).

It has not only been about the strength and diversity of their attacking riches though, as the Neapolitan giants are also holders of the best defensive record in the top flight, having conceded just three goals - including one in their most recent victory.

Napoli kept their composure after the rare shock of falling behind to Fiorentina just before the international break, and were able to return from Tuscany with their customary three points, thanks to goals from Hirving Lozano and unlikely matchwinner Amir Rrahmani.

As they get back on the trail of their first Scudetto since the days of Diego Maradona, the Azzurri are unbeaten in their last nine home league games against Sunday's opponents - since May 2009 - and already lead them by 13 points in the table this term.

Such supremacy is expected to continue, then, for the club which boasts both player and manager of the month prizes for September, after Spalletti and his star striker Victor Osimhen were rewarded for a stunning start to the season.

Just before elite club football was paused for World Cup qualifying and the Nations League finale to commence, Torino hosted city rivals Juventus in the Derby della Mole.

The first Turin Derby of the season kicked off with the Granata in the unusual position of sitting one place ahead of Juve in the standings, and they were previously unbeaten in four games. However, the Bianconeri struck four minutes from time to secure a much-needed victory, as Manuel Locatelli killed Torino's hopes after they had kept the visitors out for so much of the match.

Torino had been making quiet progress under new coach Ivan Juric, as they went through September unbeaten and their once-porous defence has so far conceded the fewest shots on goal in Serie A.

Goals have not flowed freely, though, as in-demand striker Andrea Belotti - who scored in the season opener against Atalanta but has since struggled with a tendon injury - has mostly been sidelined.

The Torino faithful will hope reports of his return this week turn out to be true, as their team travel south having failed to win in Naples in 12 league games.

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

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

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

Team News

Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has prepared for Torino's visit without centre-back Kostas Manolas, who will miss out due to a sprained ankle, plus his defensive colleague Kevin Malcuit and forward Adam Ounas.

In addition, Stanislav Lobotka has just returned to training, so may only be able to contribute a few minutes from the bench, while burly centre-forward Andrea Petagna is another doubt for Sunday's game.

There has been speculation that Italy international Alex Meret, who recently recovered from injury, will be offered a start in goal, which would consign Colombia captain David Ospina to the bench upon his return from World Cup qualifying duty.

Torino's skipper, meanwhile, is back in full training, but coach Ivan Juric is likely to resist the temptation to pick Andrea Belotti from the start, as he eases the Euro 2020 winner back into first-team action.

Midfielders Tommaso Pobega and Dennis Praet remain doubtful to travel down to Campania, while both Marko Pjaca and Simone Verdi are ruled out.

In the absence of Belotti from the first XI, the returning Simone Zaza and Paraguay striker Antonio Sanabria will compete for a start up front.

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

Torino possible starting lineup:
Milinkovic-Savic; Djidji, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Lukic, Mandragora, Aina; Linetty, Brekalo; Sanabria

We say: Napoli 2-1 Torino

Though any Ivan Juric side pose a tough task to beat, Torino cannot stop the Azzurri tide on Sunday, and the league leaders will continue their relentless winning run.

The hosts' attacking weapons are formidable, and Napoli's combination of speed, strength and ingenuity should seal three points after a close-fought scrap with the Granata.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data

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