Genoa vs Napoli: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

Saturday’s rich Serie A program caps off at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris as newly-promoted Genoa and reigning champions Napoli go head-to-head in an exciting game. Let’s look at our match preview for this match-up.

Genoa’s swift return to the top flight fell apart on their debut as Fiorentina trounced Alberto Gilardino’s side 4-1 on the opening weekend. When it looked like they could be off to a two-game losing start, marquee summer arrival Mateo Retegui came to the rescue, scoring a first-half winner in a stunning 1-0 triumph at Lazio on matchday two.

However, Genoa collapsed again in the follow-up, succumbing to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Torino last time out, courtesy of Nemanja Radonjic’s stoppage-time wonder goal. Though it’s still too early to highlight the Griffins as the potential relegation candidates, it’s equally hard to exclude the prospect of season-long struggle in the lower reaches. 

Napoli might have slumped to an unexpected 2-1 home loss to Lazio on the eve of September’s international break, but their ambitions remain as lofty as ever. While Genoa could be staring down the barrel of a difficult campaign, another top-four finish is the bare minimum new manager Rudi Garcia would expect from his side. 

Before losing his first Serie A game in charge of Partenopei, the former Roma manager had navigated a perfect two-game start to Napoli’s title defense. It all commenced with a come-from-behind 3-1 win at newcomers Frosinone, with last season’s Capocannoniere award winner, Victor Osimhen, netting a match-winning brace to inspire a comeback. 

Sassuolo proved no match for Napoli on day two as Osimhen scored again to set the tone for a comfortable 2-0 home victory. But after a disheartening performance against Lazio, Garcia’s men cannot take anything for granted in Liguria. 

Match Preview


Genoa find themselves in familiar territory after the opening three rounds. With only three points to their name, they have amassed as many as they did in four of their previous five top-flight campaigns at this stage of a new season. But since their most recent such season resulted in relegation, the Griffins cannot rest easy, even though it’s still early. 

If it’s any consolation for Gilardino, his men have shown notable signs of defensive improvement following a romping defeat to La Viola in a curtain-raising fixture. Conceding just once in their last two games suggests Genoa could give Napoli’s star-studded frontline a run for their money. 

Player to Watch: Ruslan Malinovskyi 

Malinovskyi is no stranger to scoring against Napoli, having already done so during his time at Atalanta. Back in Italy after a disappointing brief spell at Marseille, the Ukrainian forward could make a menace of himself early on, with three of his last four Serie A goals coming before halftime.


Complacency seems to have finally got the better of Napoli against Lazio last time out. Garcia’s men have tucked themselves in a false sense of security following a title-winning campaign in 2022/23, allowing Maurizio Sarri’s men to find the net four times. Luckily for them, VAR was there to save them twice. 

But the upcoming trip to Genoa promises to turn things around for Napoli, considering they’ve bagged a whopping 14 goals in their last five Serie A matches against the Griffins (W4, L1). Interestingly, their four most recent league visits to Luigi Ferraris have all yielded an identical 2-1 scoreline, with Partenopei on the receiving end just once (W3).

Player to Watch: Victor Osimhen 

Serie A is still picking up steam, but Osimhen looks eager to retain the throne as the division’s most prolific forward. After a frustrating appearance against Lazio, the Nigerian will be keen to return to the scoring board against a less challenging opposition.

Team News

This clash will come too soon for Milan loanee Junior Messias, but Genoa will have Malinovskyi to cover his position. Meanwhile, Uruguayan center-back Alan Matturo faces a race against the clock to make the matchday squad. 

On the other hand, Napoli will be without Atalanta loanee Pierluigi Gollini and star winger Matteo Politano, who picked up an injury during the international break. His absence will open space for Giacomo Raspadori, who wasted a penalty against Sassuolo. 

Genoa vs Napoli Potential Lineups

Genoa (4-3-2-1): Josep Martinez; Stefano Sabelli, Bani, Radu Dragusin, Johan Vasquez; Kevin Strootman, Milan Badelj, Morten Frendrup; Ruslan Malinovskyi, Albert Gudmundsson; Mateo Retegui. 

Napoli (4-3-3): Alex Meret; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahmani, Juan Jesus, Mathias Olivera; Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka, Piotr Zielinski; Giacomo Raspadori, Victor Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. 

Genoa vs Napoli Prediction 

It’s hard to believe even the most optimistic Genoa fans would dare to dream big ahead of Napoli’s visit. There’s a substantial gulf in class between the two sides, and we back the visitors to show that on the field and snatch an all-important win.

Prediction: Napoli Win

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