Cremonese vs Napoli Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 9

Stadio Giovanni Zini plays host to an encounter between two sides at nearly opposite ends of the Serie A standings as Cremonese take on Napoli. Relegation-zone tenants La Cremo look like a doomed outfit before the kick-off as they head into the showdown against Scudetto-bidding Napoli as outsiders. 

It’s been an underwhelming start to their first Serie A season in the new millennium for Cremonese. Eight league games into the 2022/23 campaign, Massimiliano Alvini’s men have yet to win a single match (D3, L5). As one of only two teams yet to get to the win column, it’s no major surprise the hosts enter this round pinned to 19th in the table. 

Cremonese thought they were close to getting off the mark last weekend, but Lecce pegged them back in a 1-1 draw between the two top-flight newcomers. Alvini’s position in the dugout is no longer safe, with the Giovanni Zini hierarchy already considering several options to replace the 52-year-old tactician. 

Napoli could push Alvini over the edge as they aim to strengthen their grip on the top spot in Serie A. Seeking their first Scudetto since the glory days of Diego Maradona, the Partenopei have been nothing short of astonishing early in the season. One of only two clubs yet to lose a league fixture (W6, D2), Luciano Spalletti’s men have seized control of the summit by thumping Torino 3-1 at home last weekend. 

More importantly, Napoli came from an early deficit to humble reigning Eredivisie champions Ajax 6-1 in midweek Champions League action and move to the cusp of reaching the competition’s knockouts. Having won all three opening Group A contests via an aggregate score of 13-2, the Italian heavyweights can now turn their attention back to domestic affairs. 

Match Preview


Winless after the inaugural eight 2022/23 Serie A matchdays, Cremonese seem to be bracing themselves for a season-long fight against relegation. Ominously for the Lombard side, the last time they failed to win any of their first eight top-flight fixtures, it ultimately ended up in relegation and more than a quarter-century absence from top-flight football. 

If there’s any positive from Cremonese’s sub-par Serie A start, they’ve gone from back-to-back league defeats to drawing three of their last four top-flight games (L1). La Cremo wouldn’t mind another share of the spoils, especially considering their growing scoring woes. They have netted just twice in their last four Serie A outings, with one of those strikes coming from the spot.

Equally unimpressive at the back, Cremonese have been without a clean sheet in eight of their last nine at home. There’s ample room for improvement, but since they’re about to face free-scoring Napoli, Alivini is better off coming up with a plan to tighten his team’s defensive leaks quickly. 


Unfazed by the departures of Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens, and Lorenzo Insigne, Napoli have been firing on all cylinders all season long. Inspired by the new Naples hero Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Spalletti’s men top the Serie A scoring board with 18 goals, half of which have come on their four league travels (W3, D1).

If there was any doubt about Napoli’s Scudetto credentials, a 2-1 triumph at defending champions Milan on their most recent Serie A road trip played it down. Spanning back to the tail-end of last season, the Partenopei are now unbeaten in 12 consecutive fixtures (W10, D2), their best undefeated streak in Italy’s top flight since November 2017.

But there’s no room for complacency in the visiting camp. While it may sound odd given their stellar season start, Napoli have gone winless in three of their last six Serie A encounters against promoted sides (D1, L2). On top of that, they’ve won none of their two previous top-flight visits to Cremonese (D2), suggesting this might not be a walk in the park as it may appear at first glance. 

Cremonese vs Napoli Potential Line-ups

Cremonese (4-2-3-1): Ionut Radu; Leonardo Sernicola, Jack Hendry, Lochoshvili, Emanuele Valeri; Michele Castagnetti, Santiago Ascacibar; David Okereke, Charles Pickel, Luca Zanimacchia; Cyriel Dessers. 

Napoli (4-3-3): Alex Meret; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Kim Min-jae, Leo Ostigard, Mario Rui; Andre Zambo Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka, Tanguy Ndombele; Matteo Politano, Giovanni Simeone, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.