Napoli would be wise not to delve into the history books when they encounter Empoli manager Aurelio Andreazzoli on Sunday. Keen to bounce back from yet another frustrating result, the reigning Serie A champions entertain hot relegation candidates at home tomorrow.
Despite lacking Victor Osimhen, Napoli had no excuse for drawing 1-1 at home against Union Berlin in midweek Champions League action. Rudi Garcia’s side gifted the Germans their first-ever point in Europe’s most prestigious competition, offering them salvation after a 12-match losing streak.
It’s only natural to wonder how long Garcia would last at Napoli. Anything other than three points against 19th-placed Empoli would perhaps be the final nail in his coffin. But while Sunday’s fixture at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona looks straightforward on paper, visiting manager Andreazzoli has proved well-adept at upsetting Partenopei.
The 70-year-old has been a ‘kryptonite’ for Napoli down the years. In five matches against the southern giants, Andreazzoli has racked up four victories, losing just once in the process. His most iconic triumph against Garcia’s side was in April 2022, as Empoli fought back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at the Carlo Castellani, ending Napoli’s Scudetto hopes.
Andreazzoli’s 80% win ratio against Napoli means the hosts can’t afford to take tomorrow’s game lightly. The hosts can draw some confidence from Empoli’s dreadful Serie A start. They have lost eight of their 11 league matches this season, including four out of five on the road.
However, Napoli cannot rest easy knowing Andreazzoli has been beating them for fun.
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