Serie A

December 16, 2012



2 - 3


Serie A

19:45 +00:00, December 16, 2012

San Paolo, Italy

Napoli v Bologna: Preview

Team Stat Comparison

Napoli Bologna
Matches Played 38 38
Table Position 2 13
Points 78 44
Goal Difference 37 -6
Goals for * 2.3 0.8
Goals against * 0.9 1.5
Last 5 L-W-W-W-W D-W-L-L-D
Last 5 home W-W-W-W-W D-L-D-D-L
Last 5 away L-W-W-D-W W-L-D-D-D
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Napoli | Bologna

Competition Stats

Napoli Bologna
Goals Edinson Cavani 29 Alberto Gilardino 13
Assists Marek Hamsik 14 Alessandro Diamanti 7
Yellows Valon Behrami 12 Panagiotis Kone 12
Reds Roberto Colombo 1 Archimede Morleo 1
Squads: Napoli | Bologna

Next Matches

Napoli Bologna
4/19 A: Udinese 4/19 A: Juventus
4/26 A: Internazionale 4/26 H: Fiorentina
5/6 H: Cagliari 5/4 A: Genoa
5/11 A: Sampdoria 5/11 H: Catania
5/18 H: Hellas Verona 5/18 A: Lazio

Not even the threat of a two-point deduction can dissuade Valon Behrami and his Napoli team-mates from challenging for their first Serie A title in 23 years.

The Partenopei are facing the possibility of a punishment from the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) following their former goalkeeper Matteo Gianello's admission of involvement in match-fixing.

Current Napoli defenders Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava stand accused of failing to report their knowledge of Gianello's activities - charges they strenuously deny - and face nine-month suspensions if found guilty, with the Campanian club also expecting heavy sanctions.

But ahead of tomorrow night's meeting with Bologna, Swiss midfielder Behrami insisted the Azzurri were fully focused on chasing down leaders Juventus and second-placed Inter Milan.

He told La Repubblica: "These events to do not affect us, we are fairly experienced and sometimes these kind of situations make a team stronger and more united.

"The two-point penalty? Let's hope not, we've already given too many points away.

"Bologna are a tough opponent but we want to take all the points on offer. We're aiming for the top and we want to at least get back into the Champions League.''

Inter lead Napoli by a point thanks to a 2-1 home victory at the San Siro last time out and young striker Lorenzo Insigne is desperate to make amends.

He said: "Unfortunately we didn't manage to get a good result against the Nerazzurri. We will try again on Sunday.

I don't feel like a regular starter yet, but this team doesn't really have a hierarchy. I just look to give my all to my team-mates.

"(Head coach Walter) Mazzarri is getting the best out of me and it has been a fantastic year. I've realised my dream of playing for Napoli.

"We are a great side but we have lacked a bit of good luck up to now.''

Mazzarri has a fully-fit and suspension-free squad after Marek Hamsik and Alessandro Gamberini recovered from knocks.

Bologna visit the San Paolo in a bid to deny Napoli a seventh home win of the season and consolidate their own improvement, which has seen them take seven points from the last 12.

Defender Daniele Portanova returns from a four-month suspension for his own alleged failure to report match-fixing, but Gianluca Curci, Roberto Acquafresca and Cesare Natali are all absent through injury.

Portanova said: "The worst part was being associated with something I never did, but I faced the situation without fear.

"Napoli will not be easy and Edinson Cavani is one of the best players in the world but we are ready and I will give my all if the coach picks me.''