NEWS
Saturday September 14 2019
Line-ups: Napoli v Sampdoria

Napoli give Hirving Lozano his first start and adjust their tactics after two seven-goal thrillers, but Fabio Quagliarella’s Sampdoria badly need a boost and launch Emiliano Rigoni.

It kicks off at the Stadio San Paolo at 17.00 UK time (16.00 GMT).

You can follow all the build-up and action as it happens from this game, Fiorentina-Juventus and Inter-Udinese on the LIVEBLOG.

The build-up to this match was controversial, as Napoli and Carlo Ancelotti traded angry statements with the local council over the state of reconstruction work at the Stadio San Paolo.

It was completed on Friday, but the club released images of the dressing rooms looking very much like a building site only a couple of days ago.

They also have a Champions League clash with Liverpool coming up next week and injury problems to deal with, as Arkadiusz Milik and Lorenzo Insigne are not 100 per cent fit.

After their 4-3 defeat to Juventus, when they fought back from 3-0 down only to concede a shock stoppage-time Kalidou Koulibaly own goal, Carlo Ancelotti made changes.

Gone is the 4-2-3-1 formation, as the 4-4-2 returns with summer signing Chucky Lozano alongside Dries Mertens, returning Fabian Ruiz to midfield with Jose Callejon in a surprisingly more central role.

Kostas Manolas, Allan and Faouzi Ghoulam are all rested.

Curiously, Napoli and Sampdoria have the worst defences in the division so far this season, both leaking seven goals.

The Blucerchiati have had a dismal start under new boss Eusebio Di Francesco, losing 3-0 at home to Lazio and 4-1 to Sassuolo.

Ronaldo Vieira was sent off in that game and is therefore suspended, with Gonzalo Maroni still nursing that sprained ankle.

Last term’s Capocannoniere Fabio Quagliarella starts against his hometown club, supported by Gianluca Caprari and ex-Zenit St Petersburg talent Rigoni, with Karol Linetty and Albin Ekdal in midfield.

They even seem to be playing three at the back, a revolution for Di Francesco.

It’s safe to say Samp don’t have a great record against Napoli, losing six of their last seven meetings, but the lone victory was 3-0 at Marassi in Week 3 of the most recent campaign.

Samp haven’t conquered the Stadio San Paolo in Serie A since 1998, emerging with two draws and nine defeats.

Could this be the fifth time in their history that Sampdoria start a Serie A season with zero points from three rounds? They did it in 1950-51, 1970-71, 1972-73 and 2004-05.

Napoli: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Elmas, Zielinski, Callejon, Fabian Ruiz; Lozano, Mertens

Napoli bench: Ospina, Karnezis, Ghoulam, Luperto, Malcuit, Manolas, Allan, Gaetano, Insigne, Llorente, Younes

Sampdoria: Audero; Ferrari, Murillo, Regini; Bereszynski, Ekdal, Linetty, Murru; Caprari; Quagliarella, Rigoni

Sampdoria bench: Seculin, Falcone, Augello, Chabot, Barreto, Bonazzoli, Ramirez, Depaoli, Colley, Thorsby, Gabbiadini, Leris

Ref: La Penna

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