Friday 29 Dec

Crotone vs Napoli - Match Preview

29 Dec 2017 Ed Mackey ITALY: Serie A
ITALY: Serie A

FC Crotone

  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L


19:45 GMT
29 December 2017

SSC Napoli

  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

19:45 GMT 29 December 2017

After AC Milan shocked Inter in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday night, normal business resumes in the Serie A this week and the only match on Friday sees Napoli travel to Crotone expecting a big win. The visitors are top of the table with just a point separating them from second-placed Juventus while the hosts are one place above the relegation zone, outside just on goal difference.


  • Crotone have understandably struggled in the league this season, something that they were always expecting. They have won just once in their last seven Serie A matches as the other six ended in losses, the solitary win came against Chievo. In their match just before Christmas Day, they were taken apart by a brilliant Lazio who came out 4-0 winners, a result that didn’t come as a shock away from home.
  • Napoli are having a fantastic campaign in the league this term and a win will mean they hold first place at the halfway stage of the season. They have only won three of their last five in the league, two more wins would have opened up some serious breathing space at the top. They were involved in an entertaining match in their last match as they beat Sampdoria 3-2 with all five goals coming in the first half.
  • Ante Budimir is Crotone’s leading goal scorer this season with four goals. His goals have been vital for them staying out of the drop zone.
  • Dries Mertens is enjoying another top season in front goal and with 10 league goals, only three players have more Italian top-flight goals.


This fixture will be just the third Serie A meeting between the sides after Crotone spent a large part of their history in Serie B. Napoli won both Serie A clashes last term and in the most recent one, at the Stadio San Paolo, a brace from Lorenzo Insigne and Mertens goal handed them a 3-0 lead. It was much closer in the return fixture and it finished 2-1, Napoli’s task was made harder by the dismissal of Manolo Gabbiadini. Crotone have scored just four times in the six past meetings while Napoli have scored nine.


The most unlikely victories for the hosts in this one could see them go 15th in Serie A but they won’t be hopeful of any kind of result. Their only injury is Marco Tumminello while Arlind Ajeti is suspended for the match.

Latest matches: FC Crotone

23.12.2017 Seri Lazio Roma FC Crotone 4:0 L
17.12.2017 Seri FC Crotone AC Chievo Verona 1:0 W
10.12.2017 Seri US Sassuolo FC Crotone 2:1 L
04.12.2017 Seri FC Crotone Udinese Calcio 0:3 L
30.11.2017 Copp Genoa FC FC Crotone 1:0 L


Napoli must win to ensure they are top by the end of matchweek 19 and they will be expecting to do just that. They haven’t got any notable absences as Faouzi Ghoulam and Arkadiusz Milik are both injured. Mario Rui is suspended and won’t feature.

Latest matches: SSC Napoli

23.12.2017 Seri SSC Napoli Sampdoria Genoa 3:2 W
19.12.2017 Copp SSC Napoli Udinese Calcio 1:0 W
16.12.2017 Seri Turin FC SSC Napoli 1:3 W
10.12.2017 Seri SSC Napoli AC Fiorentina 0:0 D
06.12.2017 UEFA Feyenoord Rotterdam SSC Napoli 2:1 L


There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Napoli should win this match very comfortably and it won’t be pleasant for the Crotone fans to watch. The hosts will be lucky to have any chances against one of Europe’s strongest sides while the visitors should have far too much quality on show to overcome one of Serie A’s weaker sides.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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