Atalanta vs Napoli
Gewis Stadium, Bergamo
Thursday, 02-07-2020 @8:30pm
Ref: Daniele Doveri
This is bound to be hugely entertaining, as Atalanta and Napoli are two of the most prolific sides in Serie A and currently in the best form, on six and five wins in a row respectively.
Technically, both teams can play without pressure, because La Dea are nine points clear of Roma in their Champions League spot, while the Partenopei have already qualified for the Europa League by winning the Coppa Italia. They can dream higher with a victory here and that can spur them on.
Ruslan Malinovskyi is suspended, but Mario Pasalic returns from his ban and Josip Ilicic should finally be fit to start after a slight sprain slowed his progress over the last couple of weeks. Duvan Zapata will be eager to prove himself against his old club, as he never quite flourished at the Stadio San Paolo.
He’s got competition from Luis Muriel, who with nine goals off the bench has already become the most prolific substitute in a single Serie A season during the three points for a win era.
Napoli are on a roll with Gennaro Gattuso and Diego Demme returns to midfield, having been given the night off against SPAL following the birth of his child. The team is unbeaten since a 3-2 home upset with Lecce on February 9, putting together six wins, two draws and a Coppa Italia Final victory on penalties.
Napoli have won their last four Serie A away games, so could make it five for the first time since February 2018.
AS Roma vs Udinese
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Thursday, 02-07-2020 @10:45pm
Ref: Marco Guida
There is immense pressure on both sides, as Roma suddenly have to look over their shoulders to stay in the Europa League spots, while Udinese risk relegation.
It has been a struggle returning from the lockdown, as while Edin Dzeko’s brace of volleys rescued the win against Sampdoria, the Giallorossi showed just how dependent they are on their centre-forward after a 2-0 defeat to Milan. If the Bosnian doesn’t find the net, they are in real trouble.
To make matters worse here, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Jordan Veretout are suspended, so with Amadou Diawara on shocking form, January signing Gonzalo Villar could step in, with Cengiz Under battling Justin Kluivert for a starting spot.
The Friulani are now just three points clear of the drop zone after scraping just four draws in their last nine games. At least they put up a fight in the 3-2 home defeat to Atalanta, but losing Rolando Mandragora for the rest of the season to a serious knee injury was a heavy blow to their already weak creative output.
Rodrigo De Paul returns from suspension and that should be a boost for Luca Gotti’s strugglers.
Udinese have lost 12 of their last 13 Serie A meetings with Roma, including six in a row at the Olimpico.
Serie A mid-week results so far
-Torino 1-2 Lazio
-Genoa 1-3 Juventus
-Inter Milan 6-0 Brescia
-Bologna 1-1 Cagliari
-SPAL 2-2 AC Milan
-Hellas Verona 3-2 Parma
-Lecce 1-2 Sampdoria
-Fiorentina 1-3 Sasuolo