Napoli vs. Empoli Tips, Preview and Predictions

Napoli vs. Empoli, Serie A

An injury-hit Napoli side welcome Empoli at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Sunday in an attempt to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat against Atalanta last week. Luciano Spalleti’s men have won only won of their last five Serie A games, while the visitors are unbeaten in their last three.

Where and when: Diego Armando Maradona – 12 December, kick-off 17:00

Where you can see Napoli vs. Empoli: BT Sport

Last time: Andrea Petagna’s late winner made the difference as Napoli beat Empoli 3-2 in what was a direct elimination clash in the Coppa Italia back in January at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Hirving Lozano were also on target for the Partenopei, while Nedim Bajrame scored a brace for the visitors.

Napoli v Empoli Predictions and Preview

Napoli’s injury crisis has already started to take his toll when it comes to results, as the Partenopei have three defeats in their last five games in all competitions, while they also managed only one Serie A victory during that stretch.

Luciano Spalletti needs to find a way to fill in the void left by the many key absentees quickly, as his men welcome Serie A new boys Empoli at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Sunday afternoon. Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen, Kalidou Koulibaly, Fabian Ruiz and Stanislav Lobotka are all injured, while Faouzi Ghoulam is suspended.

This leaves the Partenopei without some of their main men in the following weeks and Spalletti’s task becomes even trickier, as his side welcome Leicester in a decisive clash in the Europa League on Thursday.

Napoli’s 3-2 loss against Atalanta ended the Biancocelesti’s 18-games unbeaten streak at home in Serie A, and while La Dea are a quality side, Spalletti’s men clearly ran out of steam in the second half in what was an extremely worrying sign.

Veteran Dries Mertens scored twice in that game and continues to impress in Osimhen’s absence, but overall Napoli have looked less dangerous without the Nigerian. The Belgian should once again lead the line, alongside Hirving Lozano and Matteo Politano, but the likes of Eljif Elmas and Andrea Petagan are also pushing for a place in the starting XI.

Empoli, meanwhile, completed a remarkable comeback after being down 1-0 against Udinese, to eventually win 3-1 last week. Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men scored all of their three goals in the second half of the game and the experienced tactician will be hoping for some of the same, but history is not in Empoli’s favour when it comes to clashes with Napoli.

The Tuscan side won their last Serie A meeting with Napoli by 2-1, but that was back in 2019 and the game took place at Stadio Carlo Castellani. Empoli lost five of their last six meetings against the Partenopei, while they were beaten by 5-1 twice in Naples in recent years.

Considering all of the above, it’s no surprise that Napoli are heavy 2/7 favourites to get three points on Sunday. The draw is priced at 9/2 , while a what would be a surprising win for the visitors can be backed up at 10/1

One to watch for Napoli: Dries Mertens has really stepped in after Victor Osimhen’s injury. The Belgian veteran has netted five times in his last four Serie A appearances and is 43/10 to score the opener in this Napoli vs Empoli preview.

One to watch for Empoli: Andrea Pinamonti has been in sensational form lately as the Italian striker has five goals in his last eight outings. The 22-year-old scored the last goal in the 3-1 victory over Udinese and is 12/1 to break the deadlock against the Partenopei.

Long shot: Two of Napoli’s five home victories this term ended in 2-0 wins for the Partenopei. A repeat of that score against Empoli is available at 13/2, while the odds rise to 209/1 if you also bet on Mertens to score both goals.

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