Napoli - Perugia
After months of poor results, could things take a turn for the better for Napoli? The Partenopei are heavy favourites to claim a victory on Tuesday afternoon, as they clash with Serie B side Perugia in the Coppa Italia. This seems like the perfect chance for new Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso to claim a victory, but Napoli’s problems could get a lot worse.
There are fears that their current downward spiral will continue in this home clash with second-tier opposition. While there will be little credit given to Gattuso if he wins this one, a loss could be a hammer blow early in his reign. The way the hosts are going, this tie seems like a must-win game.
Napoli may need the Coppa Italia to even make it into Europe next season, having slipped to 10th in the Serie A table. The hosts are falling off the pace in the European race, with plenty of sides stepping up aiming to secure continental football. Napoli’s best chance of making it could come in this competition, but they need to shake a terrible record.
The Partenopei have won twice in their last 14 games across all competitions. They are coming into this match with only two clean sheets across their last 15 matches in all competitions, despite improving their defence in the summer. With Gattuso expected to ring the changes before a weekend meeting with Fiorentina, Napoli’s backline could be exposed once again here.
Perugia will be aiming to punish Napoli’s poor defensive record, especially after the visitors’ won 2-1 at Sassuolo in the last round. They have scored in each of their last 10 Coppa Italia games, with four of their last five seeing both teams score. They have scored at least twice in their last four away trips in this competition, each of which were against top-flight sides.
Perugia are likely to get forward here, with Napoli’s recent form likely to inspire them to take a chance. However, the fact that they’ve conceded in eight consecutive Serie B games doesn’t inspire much faith in them shutting out top tier opposition. We see both teams finding the net in this one.
Meanwhile, Gennaro Gattuso’s good Coppa Italia record should be enough to haul Napoli back to winning ways. The former AC Milan boss took the Rossoneri to the 2018 final and then the semis in 2019, so we expect his taste for the cup to continue in Naples. Napoli have won five from six at home in this competition, while Perugia have had some high scoring defeats, losing five of their last seven cup trips and shipping 19 goals in those five losses. We’re tipping the hosts for a 3-2 victory on Tuesday.