Bologna vs Napoli Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 22

The two underperforming sides are set to trade tackles at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara as mid-table Bologna take on third-placed Napoli in Monday’s Serie A fixture. Since neither team would benefit from a draw, we could be having an exciting, end-to-end action on our hands in Emilia-Romagna.

Bologna’s form wobble continues to hinder their hopes of climbing up the ladder as they turned a 1-0 second-half lead into a 2-1 defeat at relegation-battling Cagliari last time out. Since the beginning of December, Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men have lost four of their six Serie A games, winning the other two. 

While Bologna’s patchy form keeps them stuck in a mid-table lethargy, Napoli’s return of one win from their last three league matches (D1, L1) threatens to crash them out of the title race. They are already seven points off the title pace, meaning another failed attempt to land a victory could inflict irreversible damage on their Scudetto hopes.

Bologna vs Napoli Head-to-Head

Napoli swept Bologna aside with an overwhelming 3-0 win in the reverse fixture in late October, making it three H2H league triumphs in a row by an aggregate score of 7-1. Another clean sheet here would see the Partenopei keep the Rossoblu at bay in both seasonal encounters in Serie A for the first time since 1977/78.

Going back to 1990, just two of Napoli’s 18 Serie A visits to Bologna have ended level, with the southern giants picking up eight wins, as many as their hosts. There’s been plenty of action in their recent top-flight H2Hs here as six of their last eight league meetings at Dall’Ara have produced over 2.5 overall goals.

After drawing a blank at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona earlier this season, Bologna face the prospect of going two consecutive Serie A H2Hs without scoring for the first time since 2013. However, they have only failed to score twice in their last five home league encounters against Napoli. 

Bologna Form Preview

Bologna have suffered back-to-back Serie A defeats at home going into this matchday as they risk losing three top-flight home games for the first time since February-March 2017 under Roberto Donadoni. Napoli’s visit to Dall’Ara will reinforce such fears, especially given Mihajlovic’s embarrassing Serie A record against this opposition.

In his 20 top-flight managerial clashes against the Partenopei, the Bologna head coach has eked out just two victories (D7, L11), conceding more goals (44) versus them than against any other side. Far more vulnerable beyond half-time, the Rossoblu have recorded a clear majority (64%) of their Serie A goals conceded this term in the second half of play (21/33).

Riccardo Orsolini has been Bologna’s most in-form player of late, having found the back of the net in his last three Serie A appearances en route to reaching an unprecedented feat in his career. 

Napoli Form Preview

Napoli followed up last weekend’s narrow 1-0 home win over Sampdoria with a humiliating 5-2 extra-time defeat at the hands of Fiorentina in midweek Coppa Italia action. Luciano Spalletti’s men have struggled with inconsistent performances following an impressive 12-game start to the 2021/22 Serie A season. 

They have won just two of their last seven Serie A matches (D2, L3), with each game during that sequence yielding a full-time margin of under 1.5 goals. Indeed, four of Napoli’s last five league outings have featured an identical 1-0 scoreline, highlighting their ability to remain competitive until the final whistle. 

Dries Mertens could be in contention for the Man of the Match award, at least based on his historical fortunes against Bologna. The Napoli all-time highest scorer has tallied 11 goals against this opposition in Serie A, more than against any other side in the competition. 

Bologna vs Napoli Predicted Lineups

Bologna (3-4-3): Lukasz Skorupski; Adama Soumaoro, Gary Medel, Arthur Theate; Lorenzo De Silvestri, Aaron Hickey, Mattias Svanberg, Nicolas Dominguez, Roberto Soriano; Riccardo Orsolini, Marko Arnautovic.

Napoli (4-3-3): Alex Meret; Mario Rui, Juan Jesus, Amir Rrahmani, Giovanni Di Lorenzo; Diego Demme, Stanislav Lobotka, Dries Mertens; Andrea Petagna, Matteo Politano, Elif Elmas.