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

Stadio Arechi forms the backdrop for a lopsided Campania derby between bottom-half strugglers Salernitana and runaway Serie A leaders Napoli. Saturday’s clash in southern Italy comes in the midst of Davide Nicola’s rollercoaster experience in the Granata dugout.

Only two days after relieving the 49-year-old manager of his duties on the back of an embarrassing 8-2 defeat at Atalanta, Salernitana chiefs have reinstated him as their head coach. Nicola’s path to redemption following a dismal six-game winless league streak (D2, L4) starts against the most formidable opposition in the league. 

Nicola must be desperate to repay the Salernitana hierarchy’s trust after performing an incredible U-turn on his future. However, beating high-flying Napoli is perhaps too much to ask. It’s more likely to expect the Granata to contain the damage and try to avoid another humiliation after last weekend’s trip to Bergamo. 

In stark contrast to Salernitana’s disturbing spell of form, Napoli go into proceedings on the back of a demoralizing midweek Coppa Italia heartbreak against Cremonese. Luciano Spalletti’s side spurned a 2-1 halftime lead against the only Serie A team yet to win in 2022/23, eventually bowing out on penalties. 

However, Napoli sailed to a mammoth 5-1 home triumph over Juventus in their last Serie A outing, going nine points clear at the summit. Though a midweek upset took some wind out of their sails, the Partenopei are odds-on pre-match favorites to maintain their sublime top-flight form. 



Only Sassuolo (one) have picked up fewer Serie A points than Salernitana (two) since November, emphasizing the size of the task at hand. Indeed, Nicola’s men lost both last season’s league matches against Napoli, including a narrow 1-0 defeat in this corresponding fixture. 

After winning back-to-back Serie A home games in October, the hosts have won none of the last three on the trot (D2, L1), conceding precisely twice on two occasions. Flying out of the traps is Salernitana’s best hope of staging an upset, considering they’ve gone winless in all five home league matches in which they’ve fallen behind this term (D2, L3).

Player to Watch: Boulaye Dia

In-form forward Boulaye Dia was on the scoresheet against Atalanta last weekend, taking his seasonal tally to seven goals. Particularly prolific after halftime, the Senegalese star has registered five of those six goals in the second half of play. 


Napoli bounced back from a 1-0 defeat at Inter in their 2023 Serie A opener with a comfortable 2-0 triumph at Sampdoria on their last road trip. Spalletti’s men have racked up a league-high 22 points away from home in 2022/23 (W7, D1, L1), winning six times on their seven most recent travels. 

Unstoppable Napoli are baking in their best-ever top-flight start, clocking up a staggering 47 points to their name after 18 Serie A matches. Another win here would see the Partenopei become only the fourth side to record 50 points from the first 19 games, with the last three clubs to achieve that feat going on to win the title.

Player to Watch: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

As one of only three players alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar to boast 7+ goals and 7+ assists in Europe’s top-five leagues this season, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is the one to keep an eye on in the Napoli camp. 

Team News

Nicola faces a selection nightmare as Federico Fazio, Pasquale Mazzocchi, and Giulio Maggiore have failed to regain full fitness for this clash. On top of that, Salernitana are still sweating over Dylan Bronn’s recent injury setback.

As for Napoli, Kvaratskhelia is at risk of missing out on the upcoming Campania derby after picking up the flu. He could be the only notable absentee for the injury-free visitors. But recent reports suggest he’ll be ready. 

Salernitana vs Napoli Potential Lineups

Salernitana (3-5-2): Guillermo Ochoa; Norbert Gyomber, Flavius Daniliuc, Lorenzo Pirola; Antonio Candreva, Hans Nicolussi, Lassana Coulibaly, Emil Bohinen, Domagoj Bradaric; Federico Bonazzoli, Boulaye Dia. 

Napoli (4-3-3): Alex Meret; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Kim Min-jae, Amir Rrahmani, Mario Rui; Andre Frank Zambo-Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka, Piotr Zielinski; Hirving Lozano, Victor Osimhen, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. 

Salernitana vs Napoli Prediction

Despite Nicola’s precarious position in the Salernitana dugout, Napoli should claim three points in this ‘David vs Goliath’ clash. There’s a substantial gulf in class between the sides, and we back Spalletti’s men to come out on top.

Prediction: Napoli Win