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

Midweek Serie A action closes out at the Dacia Arena as Udinese and Napoli go head-to-head in an exciting contest. Despite becoming the first Italian side to qualify for next season’s Champions League, the visitors have yet to seal the long-awaited Scudetto. 

As far as the hosts are concerned, a tenth consecutive bottom-half finish looks like a near-certainty despite a blistering start to the season. After going winless in four of their last five league outings (D1, L3), including a 1-0 defeat at Lecce over the weekend, Udinese finished the previous round three points adrift of the tenth place. 

There’s still enough time for Andrea Sottil’s side to complete a top-flight season in the upper half of the table for the first time since finishing fifth in 2012/13. However, they must address growing scoring issues that have seen them draw a blank in three of their last five Serie A outings. Napoli’s visit to Udine cannot inspire much confidence in the home camp, especially with the visitors looking to wrap up the league title.

Boulaye Dia’s late equalizer in last weekend’s 1-1 draw in Naples spoiled the Partenopei’s celebration party in front of a sold-out Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. All Napoli had to do to confirm their first domestic triumph since 1990 was to dispatch season-long bottom-half strugglers. But not even raucous home support proved enough to inspire Luciano Spalletti’s side to a historic victory. 

Napoli will be desperate to rectify that mistake on Thursday and maintain an outrageous eight-match winning league streak on the road. Giacomo Raspadori’s stoppage-time strike fired them to a 1-0 win at Juventus on their last Serie A travel, yet they’ll hope for a less dramatic encounter in Udine. 

Match Preview


Since suffering a 2-1 defeat to Bologna in mid-January, Sottil’s men have turned the Dacia Arena into a fortress, going unbeaten in six straight home league games since (W2, D4). However, consistency hasn’t been their strong suit by any stretch of the imagination, as they’ve alternated between winning and drawing in their last four home league outings (W2, D2).

Udinese’s bid to maintain their unbeaten home form looks rather far-fetched, though, with the Friulians losing 12 of their last 13 meetings with Napoli in Serie A (D1). Indeed, you’d need to go back to April 2016 for their most recent top-flight victory over the Partenopei, highlighting the size of the task awaiting them on Thursday. 

Player to Watch: Beto

Beto has become one of the most beloved figures in Udine, and for a good reason. The 25-year-old forward has found the net in three of his last four Serie A appearances at the Dacia Arena, cementing his status as a fan favorite. 


In addition to winning their last eight away league outings in a row since a 1-0 defeat at Inter at the turn of the year, Napoli kept seven clean sheets in this run. Defensive resilience has been their main ally in Udine lately, as they’ve held Udinese at bay three times in their last five Serie A encounters at the Dacia Arena, winning four times (D1).

While Napoli may prefer to celebrate their well-deserved Scudetto on home turf, Thursday’s fixture offers the possibility of grabbing a piece of history. A victory over Udinese would see the Partenopei become only the third side in the three-point-per-win era to be crowned Serie A champions with five games to spare. 

Player to Watch: Victor Osimhen

After three consecutive firing blanks, Osimhen could fail to score in four Serie A appearances on the trot for the first time this season. If that’s not enough to motivate him, Lautaro Martinez’s haul of 19 goals could, with only two strikes now separating this duo in the Capocannoniere race.

Team News

Besides long-term absentee Gerard Deulofeu, Udinese boss Sottil cannot call upon Isaac Success and Enzo Ebosse. Luckily for the hosts, apart from this trident, all other first-team players are fit for this showdown.

As for Napoli, they’ve received a double injury boost ahead of this trip, with Giovanni Simeone and Matteo Politano on the verge of recovery. It leaves Mario Rui as the only definite absentee in the traveling camp. 

Udinese vs Napoli Potential Lineups

Udinese (3-5-1-1): Marco Silvestri; Rodrigo Becao, Jaka Bijol, Nehuen Perez; Kingsley Ehizibue, Lazar Samardzic, Walace, Sandi Lovric, Destiny Udogie; Roberto Pereyra; Beto.

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

Udinese vs Napoli Prediction 

Napoli had a mind-blowing start to the season, but their recent performances have lacked the same vigor lately. As such, Udinese could push their visitors’ inevitable Scudetto celebration back to the weekend when Spalletti’s men take on Fiorentina at home. 

Prediction: Draw

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