Preview: Udinese vs Napoli – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

Udinese’s Serie A status is on the line ahead of a daunting-looking home clash against former champions Napoli on Monday. A feeble fortress that has been the Bluenergy Stadium this season must stand firm if the hosts are to avoid returning to Serie B for the first time since the mid-1990s.

Gabriele Cioffi’s successor, Fabio Cannavaro, nearly enjoyed a dream debut as Udinese were 1-0 up against 10-man Bologna, only to concede from the keeper’s mistake in another stalemate. A gut-wrenching 1-1 draw at Renato Dall’Ara condemned the Friulians to a dreaded 19th place.

As he prepares to take on his childhood club, Napoli, in a potentially season-defining encounter, Cannavaro embarks on a challenging mission, with Udinese stuck two points adrift of safety. But if a 4-1 rout in September’s reverse fixture is anything to go by, this could be a long evening for the home team.

Plenty has changed at Napoli since they thrashed Udinese at the start of the season. Two managers have landed at the Diego Maradona Stadium following Rudi Garcia’s sacking, but they seem destined to miss out on European football, regardless.

Last weekend’s action-packed 2-2 home draw against Roma left Napoli stranded outside the European spots. With four games left, they need a miracle to overhaul a five-point deficit on seventh-placed Lazio and can’t afford a slip-up in Udine.

Match Preview


Notoriously unable to hold onto the lead, Udinese fell victim to that nasty habit last week, with Bologna forcing them to settle for a 17th Serie A draw this season! The impending home return will unlikely inspire much confidence as they’ve accumulated a league second-low 12 points at the Bluenergy Stadium. 

Indeed, only the relegated Salernitana have picked up fewer home points in 2023/24. Winning has proved elusive for Udinese on their own patch. Cannavaro’s men have registered just one league triumph in front of their home fans (D9, L7), while their record against top-half sides spells further trouble.

They’ve been on the receiving end in seven of their nine home league meetings with teams from the upper half of the table. That run includes two defeats to Inter and Roma in April, both of which saw them concede match-deciding goals in second-half stoppages. 


Not everything’s lost for Napoli yet. The ninth place could guarantee qualification for the Europa Conference League play-off round, depending on the outcome of the upcoming Coppa Italia final. That doesn’t change the fact Francesco Calzona’s men are up the creek without a paddle.

A disheartening 1-0 defeat to relegation-battling Empoli on their last league travel saw club president Aurelio De Laurentiis leave the stands at halftime. That was Partenopei’s 10th failed attempt to claim three points across their last 12 away league matches (D3, L7).

Winless in three consecutive Serie A games in the lead-up to this trip (D2, L1), Napoli fans will expect the team’s reaction from the get-go. However, typically slow away starts have seen the visitors trail at halftime on their last four road trips.

Team News

As if the absences of Gerard Deulofeu, Sandi Lovric, Florian Thauvin, and Enzo Ebosse weren’t tormenting enough, Udinese picked up more personnel concerns against Bologna. Martin Payero and Nehuen Perez got booked and will not be available for selection this weekend.

On the other hand, Napoli head into proceedings injury-free. But Calzona can’t call upon the services of Amir Rrahmani, who picked up a disqualifying yellow card in last Sunday’s Derby del Sole, making space for Leo Ostigard to return to the starting XI.

Udinese vs Napoli Potential Lineups

Udinese (3-4-2-1): Maduka Okoye; Jaka Bijol, Thomas Kristensen, Joao Ferreira; Hassane Kamara, Oier Zarraga, Walace, Festy Ebossele; Lazar Samardzic, Roberto Pereyra; Lorenzo Lucca. 

Napoli (4-3-3): Alex Meret; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leo Ostigard, Juan Jesus, Mathias Olivera; Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka, Jens Cajuste; Matteo Politano, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Victor Osimhen. 

Udinese vs Napoli Prediction

While things have not gone Napoli’s way this season, this contest looks like a glorious opportunity for the visitors to give their fans something to cheer about. They’ve reigned supreme in this fixture, mustering an eye-catching 12 wins in 14 Serie A encounters against Udinese (D2) since last losing to this opposition in April 2016.

Prediction: Napoli Win

Follow us on Google News for more updates on Serie A and Italian football

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *