Serie A leaders Napoli resume their so-far successful season on Saturday afternoon, as they welcome Torino to Stadio Maradona.
While the hosts beat Milan just before the international break, with a win at San Siro keeping them top of the pile, mid-table Toro suffered their third loss in four matches.
Ending Milan’s long unbeaten streak in Serie A, and at the same time extending their own, Napoli consigned their Rossoneri rivals to a rare home defeat just before the international break.
After Matteo Politano and Olivier Giroud struck for either side following half-time, the close-fought contest’s match-winner arrived from the bench, as summer signing Giovanni Simeone glanced in a header to seal victory for the Partenopei.
As a result, Napoli not only are tied at the top of the standings with Atalanta – both teams sitting on 17 points – but also are undefeated throughout their last 11 league matches; winning nine times in the process.
That represents the longest ongoing streak in the Italian top flight, and with a win or draw this weekend, they can match coach Luciano Spalletti’s previous best spell since taking charge, which came at the start of last season.
Having also enjoyed a sparkling start to their Champions League campaign – swatting aside both Liverpool and Rangers while racking up seven goals – this new-look Napoli are clearly an attacking force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, as well as posting successive shutouts in Europe, they have kept six clean sheets in their last 10 league games, stretching back to May.
Spalletti’s men are surely expecting to continue such fine form this week, as they now welcome Torino to Stadio Maradona for an 11th time since last losing at home to their counterparts from Turin. Indeed, the last visitors’ last league win in Naples came as far back as 2009.
All told, it has been over seven years since Toro last toppled their southern rivals in Serie A, with their only victory in the last 20 meetings happening at home in March 2015.
In fact, the Granata are without a win in each of their 14 matches most recent league games against Napoli; losing 10 times. That includes both fixtures last season – a pair of 1-0 defeats.
Torino made a promising start to the 2022-23 campaign, but have begun to falter since suffering a first setback at the start of September, and they have lost three of their last four matches – the most recent, a last-gasp loss at home to Sassuolo.
A total of just two goals from those outings tells the tale of such a downturn, and they remain ninth in the table; locked on 10 points with city rivals Juventus.
Coach Ivan Juric – who was forced to spend time away from the touchline due to illness before the international break – has continued to tighten up his team at the other end, though, and they have conceded only once in the first half of Serie A games so far this term.
However, lasting the pace has been a problem: five of their seven goals leaked have come in or after the 80th minute – including each of the last three.
Napoli Serie A form:
Napoli form (all competitions):
Torino Serie A form:
We say: Napoli 2-0 Torino
Napoli can pick up where they left off, as they are by far the more potent side – even in Osimhen’s absence – and tend to get the better of Torino on home turf.