Napoli will look to strengthen their Europa League qualification bid on Wednesday, when they travel to Russia to take on Spartak Moscow.
The Italian outfit lost a crucial league clash with Inter Milan on Sunday, but back-to-back wins on the continent see them currently top the group
After a narrow defeat to Legia Warsaw in their opening Europa League group game, Spartak Moscow put their first points on the board in an away meeting with Napoli.
A Quincy Promes brace and a Mikhail Ignatov goal, all in the second half, saw the Russian side overturn a deficit to take a 3-1 lead into injury time, and a late Victor Osimhen finish was not enough to salvage a result for Wednesday’s opponents.
Rui Vitoria’s side looked to have made it back-to-back wins when they led Leicester City 2-0 in the following match, but an inspired Patson Daka performance triggered a turnaround with the Foxes eventually coming out with a 4-3 win as the Zambian netted all four.
Victor Moses was on the scoresheet in a 1-1 draw away at Leicester in their most recent outing, leaving the Gladiators with plenty of work to do in their bid to qualify out of the group.
Given their underwhelming league campaign so far, with Vitoria’s men sat 10th in the Russian top flight and without a win in five games, Spartak Moscow will be keen to keep themselves in European contention, but they know they will require another surprise win over Napoli to stand a chance of doing so.
Preview: Spartak Moscow vs. Napoli – prediction, team news, lineups
The visitors arrive looking to bounce back from a league defeat to Inter Milan on Sunday, as goals from Hakan Calhanoglu, Ivan Perisic and Lautaro Martinez, between Piotr Zielinski’s early effort and Dries Mertens’s 78th-minute finish, saw their lead at the top of Serie A cut down after a first loss of the domestic campaign.
They began the group stage in relatively concerning fashion, with the defeat to the Moscow outfit leaving them on one point from two games after an opening draw with Leicester.
Luciano Spalletti’s men quickly improved their standing though, beating Legia Warsaw 3-0 thanks to goals from Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano before they thrashed the same opponents 4-1 away from home with Zielinski, Mertens, Hirving Lozano and Adam Ounas all getting on the scoresheet.
That double over the Polish side leaves Napoli a point clear in the only spot guaranteeing further qualification in Europe’s secondary competition, and they will be desperate to remain at the summit with what would be a third straight continental win on Wednesday.
Spartak Moscow Europa League form:
Spartak Moscow form (all competitions):
Napoli Europa League form:
Napoli form (all competitions):
We say: Spartak Moscow 0-2 Napoli
While Vitoria’s men managed to pull off a surprise win in Naples, we cannot see the same outcome happening on Wednesday.
Spalletti’s men should have too much quality for their hosts, and, given the two sides’ form this season so far, they boast far more momentum and will be fighting to keep hold of top spot.