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Napoli to continue solid Serie A season

14 December 2018 | Ligue 1 | Preview
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Napoli to continue solid Serie A season
bestino / Shutterstock.com

Napoli head to Sardinia to play Cagliari on Saturday in Serie A. Carlo Ancelotti’s team is coming off of its Champions League exit at the hands of Liverpool. Napoli bottled their chance of progression after leading the group for much of the competition.

They never truly trouble Liverpool’s goal until second half stoppage-time and even then, it was just one chance they created. Ancelotti’s team must put their Champions League heartbreak behind them to stay within reach of first place Juventus. Napoli are eight points back and must keep winning in Serie A to have any hope of winning the Scudetto.

Cagliari are 13th and have gone winless in their last five matches. Four straight games have ended in draws with Cagliari taking points off of SPAL, Torino, Frosinone, and Roma. Rolando Maran’s team has secured 17 of 45 points possible. Cagliari have managed just three wins while scoring the league’s sixth fewest goals (15). Despite their midtable position, Maran’s men do not concede very many goals (19). In fact, Cagliari have allowed fewer goals than Roma, Atalanta, and Sassuolo, three clubs ahead of them in the table.

Napoli are the bookies’ favourite by a wide margin. They have won three straight road games while picking up 15 points from 21 possible during the season. Napoli are undefeated in 35 of their last 38 Serie A away matches, which doesn’t bode well for Cagliari.

In addition, Ancelotti’s team has dominated the last six fixtures against Cagliari in Serie A. Napoli have won five times and drawn on the other occasion. They have outscored Cagliari 22-4 in those games. The only point Cagliari has taken off of Napoli in recent time came all the way back in 2014. That fixture ended in a 3-3 draw.

Games between Cagliari and Napoli are entertaining and all six recent meetings have ended with over 2.5 goals scored. In that time, Napoli scored three or more goals in each fixture.

Napoli have a lot to prove after meekly going out of the Champions League in midweek. Ancelotti will be looking for a response from his players, who still have a lot to play for. It won’t be a down performance from the team as each player knows they must show the manager they have what it takes to wear the Napoli shirt.

Cagliari may have drawn with Roma last weekend, but Napoli are a far better team. Ancelotti’s side will ease to victory following its Champions League debacle. The game will see over 2.5 goals as history shows these teams love to score against each other.

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OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Paris St. Germain 77 28 25 2 1 86 16 70
2. Lille OSC 57 29 17 6 6 45 24 21
3. Lyon 53 29 15 8 6 50 35 15
4. Marseille 47 29 14 5 10 45 38 7
5. AS Saint-Étienne 46 29 13 7 9 41 34 7
6. Stade Reims 46 29 11 13 5 31 27 4
7. Montpellier HSC 42 29 10 12 7 40 34 6
8. Stade Rennais 41 28 11 8 9 39 36 3
9. OGC Nice 41 29 11 8 10 21 29 -8
10. Strasbourg 39 29 9 12 8 45 35 10
11. Nîmes Olympique 37 28 10 7 11 40 42 -2
12. Angers SCO 36 29 8 12 9 33 33 0
13. Girondins Bordeaux 34 29 8 10 11 28 31 -3
14. Toulouse FC 32 29 7 11 11 28 43 -15
15. FC Nantes 31 28 8 7 13 31 35 -4
16. AS Monaco 30 29 7 9 13 30 44 -14
17. Amiens SC 29 29 8 5 16 24 43 -19
18. Guingamp 22 29 5 7 17 19 51 -32
19. Dijon FCO 21 29 5 6 18 21 46 -25
20. SM Caen 20 29 3 11 15 23 44 -21

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