Napoli vs Chievo by JerryDrake
Napoli are one of the top three teams in Italy at the moment: 13 wins, 4 draws and only 3 losses, the second best attack in Italy with 43 goals scored and the 4th best defense with only 22 goals conceded. In their own stadium they won 7 times and drew twice losing only to Parma 0-1 in the game that preceded their vital (and lost) Champions League game in Dortmund. In a normal season Napoli would be first or second in the table but not this year with this Juventus and with this Roma.
Other kind of numbers for Chievo. No other teams scored less goals than Chievo except Catania. The Clivensi scored only 15 goals in 20 games, the most of them at home as they scored only 5 on the road, the same number as Livorno, one more as Cagliari. Napoli are undefeated in Serie A in the last 7 games, Chievo have not won a single game in the last 5. Moreover, in their first meeting in Verona Chievo have been defeated by the Azzurri 2-4.
If I were a Chievo manager and read this statistics I would ask the flight company to cancel the tickets and return me the money.
When Eugenio Corini accepted again hils old job as Chievo coach he took in charge a team that had won only once in 12 games. In his new debut he won the Verona derby 1-0 and won other two in a row against Livorno and Sassuolo. Since then no more victories but Chievo had to face difficult teams like Torino, Sampdoria and Parma. One can criticize him only for the draw held with Cagliari 0-0 (the first game in 2014) and for the two points lost with Inter as with this Inter every team should now try to win: 1-1 in Milan after leading with a goal scored by Paloschi.
A series of hard games continues now in Naples, they will play with Lazio at home and again two away games with Udinese and Juventus. Corini must find some points somewhere. The question is where? I think in Naples.
True, Napoli are very strong and third in the league. But the goal conceded in the last minute in Bologna can hide a difficult period to come for Napoli. Rolando Bianchi scored for Bologna but somehow he can help Chievo with this goal because now Benitez and his players must find a new motivation and understand what role are they playing in the league.
They are surely not fighting for Scudetto anymore even if they would deserve it. They have too much advantage on Inter and Verona and all other teams to risk not to qualify to Europa League. But they have only three points advantage on Fiorentina in the Champions League run. This means that they must move from Plan A to Plan B: to keep the advantage and qualify for the Champions League and try next season to make one point more than Arsenal and Borussia. Or think of the Coppa Italia and enjoy living another beautiful night by defeating Lazio like it happened with Atalanta. Or wait for Europa League.
No important news for the probable line-ups: Napoli will play with all of his stars (Callejon, Mertens, Insigne, Higuain) and have a high number of good players on the bench (Hamsik, Jorginho, Pandev). Some players are missing but it makes no difference for my preview as Napoli have the best line-up anyway. Chievo have all players available.
The difference in this game can be done by the will of Chievo players. If Puggioni and the defense will survive the first half-an-hour and if Luca Rigoni will have his best day I think that Chievo can be dangerous upfront. Thereau (19/4) always play very well, he scores difficult goals and misses the easy ones. And Naples is the right place for difficult goals and he already scored one goal to Napoli in March 2013 in a game played in Verona. Former Milan player Alberto Paloschi (18/5) will want to test Rafael's skills
Play now US Players are welcome
|Chievo||Pinnacle||14.00||2||1-1 LOST (-2 units)|