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Nov 24, 2021 at 3.30pm UK
Spartak MoscowSpartak Moscow
2-1
NapoliNapoli
Sobolev (3' pen., 28')
Litvinov (14'), Sobolev (88'), Promes (90+2')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Elmas (64')
Koulibaly (78'), Spalletti (84')

Preview: Spartak Moscow vs. Napoli - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Spartak Moscow vs. Napoli - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Europa League clash between Spartak Moscow and Napoli, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Napoli will look to strengthen their Europa League qualification bid on Wednesday, when they travel to Russia to take on Spartak Moscow.

The Italian outfit lost a crucial league clash with Inter Milan on Sunday, but back-to-back wins on the continent see them currently top the group.


Match preview

After a narrow defeat to Legia Warsaw in their opening Europa League group game, Spartak Moscow put their first points on the board in an away meeting with Napoli.

A Quincy Promes brace and a Mikhail Ignatov goal, all in the second half, saw the Russian side overturn a deficit to take a 3-1 lead into injury time, and a late Victor Osimhen finish was not enough to salvage a result for Wednesday's opponents.

Rui Vitoria's side looked to have made it back-to-back wins when they led Leicester City 2-0 in the following match, but an inspired Patson Daka performance triggered a turnaround with the Foxes eventually coming out with a 4-3 win as the Zambian netted all four.

Victor Moses was on the scoresheet in a 1-1 draw away at Leicester in their most recent outing, leaving the Gladiators with plenty of work to do in their bid to qualify out of the group.

Given their underwhelming league campaign so far, with Vitoria's men sat 10th in the Russian top flight and without a win in five games, Spartak Moscow will be keen to keep themselves in European contention, but they know they will require another surprise win over Napoli to stand a chance of doing so.

The visitors arrive looking to bounce back from a league defeat to Inter Milan on Sunday, as goals from Hakan Calhanoglu, Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez, between Piotr Zielinski's early effort and Dries Mertens's 78th-minute finish, saw their lead at the top of Serie A cut down after a first loss of the domestic campaign.

They began the group stage in relatively concerning fashion, with the defeat to the Moscow outfit leaving them on one point from two games after an opening draw with Leicester.

Luciano Spalletti's men quickly improved their standing though, beating Legia Warsaw 3-0 thanks to goals from Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano before they thrashed the same opponents 4-1 away from home with Zielinski, Mertens, Hirving Lozano and Adam Ounas all getting on the scoresheet.

That double over the Polish side leaves Napoli a point clear in the only spot guaranteeing further qualification in Europe's secondary competition, and they will be desperate to remain at the summit with what would be a third straight continental win on Wednesday.

Spartak Moscow Europa League form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Spartak Moscow form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L

Napoli Europa League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

Spartak Moscow have several injury concerns to deal with, as Ezequiel Ponce, Jorrit Hendrix, Roman Zobnin and George Melkadze are all ruled out.

Despite his ongoing issues off the field, Quincy Promes featured in their most recent league outing, and he remains a key player in the attacking line.

Former Chelsea man Victor Moses will continue to operate on the right-hand side in a wing-back role, with Ayrton set to play on the other flank.

Napoli are similarly without a long list of players, and a facial injury to star forward Victor Osimhen in the defeat to Inter has only compounded their struggles.

Key midfielder Zambo Anguissa has also recently been ruled out for a spell, while centre-back Kostas Manolas remains a doubt and Matteo Politano, Diego Demme and Alessandro Zanoli will all miss out after testing positive for COVID-19.

The experienced attacking duo of Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens will be as crucial as ever in the absence of Osimhen, while the likes of Hirving Lozano, Piotr Zielinski and Elif Elmas will battle to join the supporting cast.

Spartak Moscow possible starting lineup:
Selikhov; Caufriez, Gigot, Dzhikiya; Moses, Ignatov, Litvinov, Ayrton; Larsson, Sobolev, Promes

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


We say: Spartak Moscow 0-2 Napoli

While Vitoria's men managed to pull off a surprise win in Naples, we cannot see the same outcome happening on Wednesday.

Spalletti's men should have too much quality for their hosts, and, given the two sides' form this season so far, they boast far more momentum and will be fighting to keep hold of top spot.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data



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