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

Stadio Diego Armando Maradona is the venue as Napoli and Sassuolo drop the curtain on Sunday’s action-packed Serie A schedule. Let’s take a look at our match preview for this handsomely-looking contest. 

Luciano Spalletti led Napoli to their first Scudetto in 33 years last season. But he left the club shortly after, with Rudi Garcia taking his place in the dugout. The Frenchman has returned to Italian football after a seven-year absence. However, his debut was off to a woeful start as newly-promoted Frosinone took an early lead against the reigning champions on the opening weekend. 

Garcia, like his predecessor, had last season’s Serie A top-scorer, Victor Osimhen, to dig him out of trouble. Matteo Politano brought things back to square one with a sublime half-volley before the Nigerian’s unanswered brace fired Napoli to a comprehensive 3-1 win at Stadio Benito Stirpe. Back to Naples, Partenopei are looking to maintain a perfect start to their title defense.

Visiting Sassuolo would like to spoil the heroes’ homecoming fixture. However, that’s seemingly a pipe dream, as the opening-day loss to Atalanta confirmed fears over a potentially season-long fight against the drop. Milan loanee Charles De Ketelaere scored off the bench to inspire La Dea to a 2-0 win at the Mapei Stadium last week.

A dramatic extra-time success against lower-league Cosenza in the Coppa Italia a fortnight ago cannot inspire much confidence either. Off-field distractions related to Domenico Berardi’s unwavering desire to join Juventus are causing more problems for under-pressure Sassuolo boss Alessio Dionisi ahead of this ominous-looking trip.

Match Preview


Napoli switched off after being crowned the Serie A champions last season, as witnessed by an underwhelming three-game winless home league run in April (D2, L1). But they still finished their title-winning campaign on a high, mustering three consecutive top-flight victories at the Maradona Stadium by an aggregate score of 6-1.

Complacency is now well past Napoli as they look to build on a commanding three-game winning league streak against Sassuolo. It’s worth noting that Partenopei netted a staggering 12 goals in those three matches while only conceding one in return. With that in mind, the home fans must be in a dreamland.

That fact Napoli started their last three Serie A campaigns with three straight home triumphs will fuel Garcia’s optimism. His side scored 2+ goals in each of those wins without reply.

Player to Watch: Victor Osimhen

With 26 goals, Osimhen finished atop the Serie A scoring charts last term. The sought-after striker looks destined for another prolific campaign after racking up a brace in three of his last four appearances for club or country.


Sassuolo lost both Serie A matches against Napoli by a combined score of 6-0. Those defeats form part of their underwhelming five-game winless league run against Partenopei (D2, L3). A lack of defensive resilience saw Dionisi’s side concede a whopping 17 goals in those five matches, capitulating multiple times on each occasion.

Speaking of Sassuolo’s proneness to conceding in abundance, their last five away league matches have yielded 13 goals in their net, at least two in each game (D1, L4). If it’s any consolation, they’ve scored precisely twice in the most recent two.

Considering Sassuolo’s perennial misfortunes against Napoli, their bid to get into the win column in Serie A for the first time since April seems rather far-fetched. Winless in their last seven league outings (D2, L5), the visitors cannot be surprised to see the odds heavily stacked against them in this fixture.

Player to Watch: Armand Lauriente

Lauriente was among last season’s revelations in Serie A, taking full advantage of Gianluca Scamacca’s exit and Berardi’s injury problems to gain a prominent status at Sassuolo. Despite failing to score against Atalanta last week, he showed flashes of his burgeoning talent.

Team News

Except for talented youngster Gianluca Gaetano, Garcia will have the remainder of his Napoli squad fit and ready for this encounter. After missing out on the opening-day trip to Frosinone, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa have returned to the fold.

On the other hand, Agustin Alvarez and Pedro Obiang will skip this trip due to injuries. But Brazilian defender Ruan is back from suspension, giving Dionisi an additional option at the back.

Napoli vs Sassuolo Potential Starting Lineups

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

Sassuolo (4-2-3-1): Andrea Consigli; Jeremy Toljan, Mattia Viti, Martin Erlic, Matias Vina; Maxime Lopez, Matheus Henrique; Gregoire Defrel, Nedim Bajrami, Armand Lauriente; Andrea Pinamonti.

Napoli vs Sassuolo Prediction

This clash has Sassuolo’s demolition written all over it. We expect Osimhen & Co to pack a punch against out-of-sorts opposition.

Prediction: Napoli Win

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