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

Sunday’s Serie A program gets underway at the Stadio Alberto Picco as injury-plagued Spezia take on runaway leaders Napoli. While the hosts’ hopes of extending their three-year top-flight stay continue to stutter, the visitors are seemingly walking away with the Scudetto. 

A 2-0 defeat at Bologna last weekend made it back-to-back league defeats ‘to nil’ and kept Spezia only five points clear of the relegation zone. With a host of first-team stars struggling with injuries, manager Luca Gotti will face a Herculean task to get his side’s faltering Serie A campaign back on the rails. 

Considering they’ve failed to win their three home league matches since the calendar year flipped to 2023 (D2, L1) and drew a blank in the last two, Spezia will be forgiven for doubting their chances against Napoli. Adding to this sentiment, the Aquilotti have lost their two most recent top-flight encounters against this opposition without scoring. 

On the other hand, Napoli eked out a potentially title-deciding 2-1 home win over Roma last Sunday as Giovanni Simeone netted a phenomenal late winner to extend his side’s lead at the summit to 13 points. Though it’s just the halfway point of the season, Luciano Spalletti’s men are on the verge of snapping a 33-year title wait. 

Indeed, they boast the biggest lead over nearest competitors after 20 matches in a top-flight campaign since 1994/95. The Partenopei could spice things up by aiming for 100+ points for the season, a feat achieved only once in the competition’s history. 



Gotti’s number one assignment amid Spezia’s dip in form is to address their scoring woes. Not only have they failed to score in a league second-high nine Serie A games this season, but three of their last four league outings have yielded scoring blanks. But if they defy that lack of scoring prowess, it could be early in the match. 

Delivering action from the get-go, Spezia have bagged 11 of their 13 home goals in Serie A before halftime, highlighting the potential for a quick-fire start. Yet even if they concede first, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, given that they’ve lost only two of their six home league fixtures after falling behind this term (W1, D3, L2).

Player to Watch: Bartlomiej Dragowski

Bartlomiej Dragowski faced as many as 28 shots at his goal in the reverse fixture at the Stadio Armando Maradona, only for an 89th-minute strike to sink his side. He’ll need to come up with another lively performance if Spezia are to stand a chance against the league’s best attack.


Alberto Picco has been a happy hunting ground for Napoli as they’ve won both previous Serie A visits to Spezia by a three-goal margin, including a 3-0 triumph in this corresponding fixture in 2022/23. Another landslide victory is well on the cards, with Spalletti’s team winning their last two away league outings via an identical 2-0 scoreline.

The visitors’ impressive ‘bounce-back’ ability has seen them come from behind to win three out of four away league matches after conceding the opener (L1). So Napoli fans shouldn’t lose faith even if their side fall behind. Indeed, the Partenopei have notched a league-high 12 goals beyond the 75th minute this term.

Player to Watch: Victor Osimhen

Serie A top-scorer Victor Osimhen returned to the scoresheet with a sublime deadlock-breaker against Roma last weekend, taking his total to 14 for the season. He also scored a double in his only league appearance at Alberto Picco. 

Team News

In addition to standout striker M’Bala Nzola and captain Emmanuel Gyassi, Spezia will be without Albin Ekdal, Joao Moutinho, Simone Bastoni, Jeroen Zoet, and Viktor Kovalenko. 

As for Napoli, second-fiddle midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is the only doubt ahead of this game.

Spezia vs Napoli Potential Lineups

Spezia (3-5-2): Bartlomiej Dragowski; Kelvin Amian, Mattia Caldara, Dimitrios Nikolaou; Emil Holm, Salvatore Esposito, Ethan Ampadu, Mehdi Bourabia, Arkadiusz Reca; Daniele Verde, Eldor Shomurodov. 

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. 

Spezia vs Napoli Prediction

Spezia’s underwhelming form in 2023 cannot inspire much confidence, especially considering they’ll have to play out of their skins to keep pace with Napoli. 

We expect Spalletti’s side to pick up another routine three points and maintain their imperious Scudetto charge.

Prediction: Napoli Win

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