Visiting Udinese have a seven-point cushion on the relegation zone coming into this one, but we expect them to be well tested against European hopefuls Napoli.
Serie A 2019/2020
Date: Sunday July 19
Venue: Stadio San Paulo
Napoli though unbeaten in their last four outings, have drawn their last two to allow AC Milan to close in on them on the league table.
Kostas Manolas put I Partenopei ahead last time out after just seven minutes in Bologna but Musa Barrow scored for the opposition to peg them back.
Gennaro Gattuso’s side are already
assured of a European spot by virtue of winning the Coppa Italia, so they needn’t have to worry about teams usurping them on the table.
Udinese on their part, held out-of-form Lazio to a goalless draw on home soil last Wednesday, a result which put last week’s 3-1 loss to Sampdoria behind them.
The Bianconeri seem to have saved their best performances on their travels since last month’s restart, having beaten Roma and bottom side SPAL in their last two away games. However, not since May 2013 have they managed to win three away games in a row in the topflight.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo has incurred an automatic one-match suspension following his booking versus Bologna.
Kelvin Malcuit is a long-term absentee.
Udinese are without Stefano Okaka who was booked in the draw with Lazio.
Rolando Mandragora and Mato Jajalo are ruled out no thanks to ACL tear and sprained knee respectively.
Head to Head
In 39 competitive meetings between these two sides, Napoli have recorded 16 wins to Udinese’s 10. 13 other meetings have been drawn, including this season’s reverse fixture which ended 1-1.
Napoli last five competitive games: LWWDD
Udinese last five competitive games: WDWLD
Udinese could afford to drop points now given their advantage on Genoa and Lecce. Despite winning back-to-back away matches, they are without a victory in this fixture home or away in more than four years.
And interestingly, Napoli have been drawing at half time and winning at full time in their last five home games against Udinese in all competitions. So we would give it a go here to side a draw at halftime, while Napoli go on to take maximum points at full-time. That market is priced 17/5 for odds.