Napoli v Crotone Preview & Tips: Partenopei set for victorious homecoming

Napoli to claim easy win in final home game of the season
Dries Mertens to star for Napoli on Sunday against Crotone (Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Dries Mertens to star for Napoli on Sunday against Crotone (Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Napoli v Crotone Preview & Tips


Napoli welcome Crotone to the Stadio San Paolo in their final Serie A match of the season. The Partenopei are hoping to end their campaign with a home win while Crotone are looking to avoid the drop.

Napoli


Napoli won away at Sampdoria to move to 88 points for the season. Arkadiusz Milik and Raul Albiol got the goals as they ended a run of back to back matches without a win.

Napoli ran Juventus close for the Scudetto this season but fell away at the crucial stage. However, they have already locked up second spot as they are currently 14 points clear of third place Roma. 

Milik has been a breath of fresh air for Napoli in recent weeks with three goals in his last seven appearances. The striker has been injured for much of the campaign and will be hoping to continue his good form in order to seal a place in the Poland world cup squad.

The 24-year-old is pushing for a start on Sunday, but manager Maurizio Sarri could name an unchanged line-up with Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne starting up front.

Crotone


Crotone head to Naples on the back of a 2-2 home draw against Lazio with goals from Simy Nwankwo and Federico Ceccherini. The southerners were leading 2-1 late on but Sergej Milinkovic-Savic equalised for the visitors.

The Calabria outfit have courted relegation all season and currently sit in the bottom three with 35 points. They are just 2 points off 14th place Chievo and know a win could secure their top-flight status for another season depending on other results.

Nwankwo has scored six times in his last seven matches and will be the one tasked with leading the line in Naples. Marcello Trotta is also pushing for a start, while Davide Faraoni and Mario Sampirisi are all in contention to feature.

Match-Up


The reverse fixture ended in a 1-0 win for Napoli with Marek Hamsik getting the only goal. Sarri’s side have won the last three matches against Crotone and are unbeaten in five of seven meetings.

Napoli like to play on the front foot with the pace and movement of Mertens, Insigne and Callejon. Crotone will struggle to keep out Napoli’s attacking trio and this could be a long hard night that could ultimately result in relegation.

Key Statistics 


  • Napoli have won 14 of their last 19 home matches (Serie A).
  • Napoli have won 17 of their last 25 matches (All Competitions).
  • Crotone have failed to win in 6 of their last 7 meetings with Napoli (All Competitions).
  • Crotone have lost 14 of their last 19 away matches (Serie A).

Verdict


Napoli are looking to close out their season with a win in front of their fans. They have a superb record against Crotone and that is unlikely to change on Sunday. 

I’m backing Dries Mertens to score.

Best Bet: Napoli win and Over 2.5 at 2.00
First Goalscorer Bet: Dries Mertens at 4.50
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Eric Smith 16 May 2018

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