Preview: Napoli vs. Empoli
The only unbeaten team in Serie A, Napoli, have a chance to stretch their winning run domestically to 10 consecutive matches when they host Empoli at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Tuesday.
Gli Azzuri lead the league with 35 points, while Empoli ended a two-match losing run this past weekend, blanking Sassuolo 1-0.
Just about everything has gone Napoli’s way domestically of late, as they are currently on a nine-game winning streak in Serie A.
Another triumph on Tuesday would match their longest winning run in league play since 2018, and you have to fancy their chances to do so given their potency at home domestically, outscoring their last three opponents by a combined total of 10-3.
On Saturday, they came from behind to defeat Atalanta BC 2-1, the fourth time they have emerged victorious from a league fixture this season despite conceding the opening goal.
Since September, they have won seven consecutive matches at home in all competitions, outscoring their previous two opponents (Rangers and Sassuolo) 7-0.
Luciano Spalletti’s men have scored more goals than anyone in the Italian top flight this season (32 goals), finding the back of the net at least four times on seven occasions in all competitions, second only to Bayern Munich in the top five European Leagues.
So far in 2022-23, 13 players have found the back of the net for Napoli, while 10 have set up at least one strike over the current campaign.
Empoli began the month of November on a winning note, posting their first clean sheet since mid-October, moving them up to 14th in the table.
They have captured two of their last four league fixtures, which is one more win than they had gained in the first nine matches in Serie A this term.
In his first season as manager Paolo Zanetti has seen his side manage only one road victory domestically, though they have only come away empty-handed in two away matches.
The club from Florence have lost four of their five league fixtures in which they had conceded the opening goal, gaining only one point in that scenario this season.
In their previous campaign, they won both of their domestic encounters versus Napoli, including a 1-0 road victory, the first against them as the visitors since 2007-08.
Before their 4-0 defeat at Juventus last month, this team had avoided defeat in four of their five Serie A road fixtures, their best form away from home since 2006-07 when they earned points in six matches as the visitors.
Napoli Serie A form:
Napoli form (all competitions):
Empoli Serie A form:
We say: Napoli 2-0 Empoli
Napoli have been far more focused and consistent in 2022-23 than they were a season ago, and we expect their balanced attack will be too much for the Empoli defence to contain on Tuesday.