Napoli have won both of their opening Serie A fixtures from behind, Carlo Ancelotti’s men showing real tenacity alongside some defensive fragility this term. But will it all come together this Sunday as they travel to Sampdoria? Ancelotti has already spoken about the need to fix the issues in the backline, his fully-firing attack saving their his skin with goals to achieve a 2-1 victory over Lazio, and a 3-2 win over AC Milan.
To overcome such difficult fixtures in the opening two rounds has put Napoli back in the conversation as Scudetto challengers this season, and this weekend they take on Sampdoria, a team who have also faced initial struggles. Marco Giampaolo’s men took an unexpected 1-0 defeat to Udinese last weekend after their opening match with Fiorentina was postponed due to the tragedy in Genoa, and they will need to improve fast if they are to stand any chance versus the Partenopei.
That said, the Samp boss is expected to introduce new signing Riccardo Saponara into the trequartista role, supporting ex-Roma front-man Gregoire Defrel and the experienced Fabio Quagliarella up front. Such an attack looks potent on paper at least, and should provide enough to offer a stern test to a Napoli defence that has already proven to be leaky.
There is nothing in the previous history between these two sides to suggest that Sampdoria could get a result in this fixture, and even a draw looks difficult. Napoli have triumphed on five of the last six outings versus the Genoa-based club, with only one of those matches ending in stalemate.
The win market is offering very skinny odds across most top football betting sites, but Matchbook offers one of the best rates at 4/7 on a Napoli win, a decent return for what is a highly likely outcome. The Blucerchiati are in a transitional period, just like their Neapolitan opponents, however the latter side has proven that they still have what it takes to garner the three points.
Sampdoria struggled to find the back of the net in their opening fixture, butThe Coach is astute enough to have worked hard on the problem in training this week. The Napoli defence is open to be tested, yet their attack is razor sharp and Ancelotti has plenty of options in this regard.
Karamba offers a good option at 4/1 on over 4.5 goals in this match and 17/10 on a Napoli win with both teams to score. The latter is certainly a bet you should consider making, given that all the aforementioned factors point that way. Napoli have also scored at least two goals versus Samp in their last seven meetings, and have fired in at least twice in their last five matches in all competitions.
Moreover, Ancelotti certainly had a difficult task in replacing Maurizio Sarri, however the new man is certainly making an impression on his squad: “The Coach wants to make the whole group feel important, there will be a lot of matches and the time will come for all of us,” revealed midfielder Allan to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, in what seemed to be a veiled dig at Sarri’s lack of rotation.
“We’ll try to win every game, regardless of the competition, and keep taking it one match at a time. It’s easy to work with him [Ancelotti], he’s a calm Coach who tries to always let us be free, beyond giving us some advice about our positions on the pitch or the movements we should make.”
Naples-born Fabio Quagliarella enjoys scoring versus his boyhood side, having found the back of the net in four of the last six matches versus the Partenopei - including in each of the last two. Karamba offer 21/4 on the Sampdoria frontman to score first or last, and 31/20 for him to score anytime, a bet well worth your attention.
For Napoli, Lorenzo Insigne has an excellent record versus Sampdoria, and is just one goal away from netting his 50th in Serie A. The pint-sized Napoli forward has only scored more goals (six) versus AC Milan, netting five times against Sampdoria. The Italy international opened his account for the new campaign in the first match versus Lazio, and is offered by Karamba at 19/4 to score first or last, and 27/20 anytime.