League leaders Napoli will welcome fourth-placed Lazio to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in Serie A on Friday. The hosts extended their winning run in Serie A to eight games last Saturday as an own goal from Ardian Ismajli and Victor Osimhen’s 28th-minute strike helped them record a 2-0 away win over Empoli.
They were reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute following a straight red card to Mário Rui but managed to hold on to the clean sheet. They have opened up an 18-point lead over second-placed Inter Milan. Lazio have seen an upturn in their recent games and have recorded back-to-back wins in Serie A after a three-game winless run.
Their last six games have been low-scoring affairs and in their previous outing, an 80th-minute goal from Luis Alberto was enough to help them record a 1-0 home win over Sampdoria.
The Partenopei have enjoyed an impressive run in their recent games, with their last three games ending with a scoreline of 2-0. They have enjoyed a solid run in home games against the visitors, suffering just one defeat at home since 2015.
Luciano Spalletti has an excellent record against Maurizio Sarri, suffering just one defeat in eight games, and will be looking to avoid defeat.
The Biancocelesti have kept clean sheets in their last four games in all competitions but are unlikely to manage a shutout against the in-form hosts.
Considering Napoli’s current form and impressive home record against Lazio, we back them to eke out a narrow win.
Prediction: Napoli 2-1 Lazio
This match will start from 1:15 am
This match will take place on 4 March 2023
Following his dismissal on Saturday, Napoli’s Mario Rui must now serve a two-match suspension and should be replaced by Mathias Olivera at left-back.
Only Giacomo Raspadori is unavailable due to injury, but Luciano Spalletti may move to freshen up his starting XI after a busy period at home and abroad by bringing Eljif Elmas into midfield; Matteo Politano could also replace Hirving Lozano on the right flank.
Although Giovanni Simeone would delight in leading the line against his father’s former club, instead Victor Osimhen will seek a ninth straight goalscoring appearance in Serie A.
Meanwhile, Lazio have also been busy in Europe and had to rush back Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Mattia Zaccagni from illness to play a part on Monday.
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Rrahmani, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Elmas; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Provedel; Marusic, Romagnoli, Patric, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni
We say: Napoli 2-1 Lazio
Friday’s game poses one of the sternest tests awaiting Napoli on the road to their coronation as Serie A champions. Despite being a boyhood fan of the Partenopei, Sarri will go all out to get the better of Spalletti, but is still set to come up just short against one of Europe’s top teams.
Tip 1: Result – Napoli
Tip 2: Goals – Over/Under 2.5 Goals – Over 2.5
Tip 3: At least a goal to be scored in the first half – Yes
Tip 4: Victor Osimhen to score or assist any time – Yes
Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats, suggests the most likely outcome of this match is a Napoli win with a probability of 55.32%. A win for Lazio has a probability of 22.63% and a draw has a probability of 22%.
The most likely scoreline for a Napoli win is 2-1 with a probability of 9.83%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome are 1-0 (8.75%) and 2-0 (8.46%). The likeliest Lazio win is 1-2 (5.91%), while for a drawn scoreline it is 1-1 (10.16%).
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