Preview: Cremonese vs. Napoli 

Preview: Cremonese vs. Napoli 

After another storming success in Europe, Serie A’s top team return to domestic duty on Sunday, as Napoli visit Cremonese at Stadio Giovanni Zini.

One of only two unbeaten sides heading into this week’s ninth round, Luciano Spalletti’s men followed up victory over Torino with a 6-1 crushing of Ajax in Amsterdam, while their hosts have picked up just three points since achieving promotion.

Taking their scintillating start to the 2022-23 season to even greater heights, Napoli came from behind on Tuesday to destroy Ajax in the Champions League and record a ninth win from 11 matches this term.

After Giacomo Raspadori headed in the Partenopei’s equaliser at Johan Cruijff ArenA, they found themselves 3-1 ahead at the break, before Raspadori notched his second and laid on a Khvicha Kvaratskhelia strike in the second half.

Giovanni Simeone netted a sixth late on, as Napoli swept clear at the top of Group A; making light of Spalletti’s summertime overhaul following the departure of several senior players. Indeed, rejuvenated by some new blood, new-look Napoli are now even better.

In Europe, they have scored 13 times already and sit three points above Liverpool, while back on the Italian peninsula they are a similarly frightening prospect: only Fiorentina and Lecce have prevented them from winning so far.

Curiously, though, the Campanian club have failed to win three of their last six meetings with promoted sides – August’s draw versus Lecce in August and two defeats to Empoli last term – so may possess an Achilles’ heel in that regard.

Nonetheless, Napoli have attempted the most shots in Serie A this season (150), while no side have faced more than Cremonese so far (138); indicating the likely nature of a lopsided match-up in Lombardy.

After kicking off their long-awaited return to the elite level with four defeats in a row, Cremonese have drawn three of their last four league matches.

However, for only the second time they have failed to win any of their first eight Serie A matches, following a 1-1 draw with another promoted side, Lecce.

Hopes of a first top-flight success for 26 years were raised when Daniel Ciofani became the club’s oldest scorer in Serie A – putting Cremonese ahead from the penalty spot – but their relegation rivals struck back with a spot-kick of their own just before the interval.

Coach Massimiliano Alvini had been cursed with a relatively tough run of fixtures to start Cremo’s comeback campaign, but a chance spurned last week sees them in further danger of being cut adrift within the drop zone.

Now set to face a side that has already scored 18 times in the league this season, the Grigiorossi have only found the net twice themselves in their last four games – surely not a recipe for success on Sunday.

Cremonese Serie A form:
Napoli Serie A form:
Napoli form (all competitions):

We say: Cremonese 1-3 Napoli
Even if Spalletti takes the opportunity to rotate his squad a little, amid a packed autumn schedule, Napoli possess more than enough guile and precision to see off a limited Cremonese side on Sunday evening

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