Empoli deserved something more out of the visit to Atalanta on Sunday noon, but they were limited to a 2:2 draw only. In a very open game in Bergamo, Empoli looked like a bit more concrete and more active side on the field, taking a lead via Saponara in 42st, but the hosts quickly equalized two minutes later thanks to Gomez.
Maccarone brought the visiting side again to lead in 60th minute and it looked like the guests will take all three points all the way till third minute of additional time when Denis leveled up the result in a bit of lucky way. Not only that they lost two points in the last minutes, but the team actually had much more of chances created and simply deserved all three points. Anyhow, they are now with four consecutive matches without victory, but are surely coming into this match with improved atmosphere after good performance in Bergamo. Central defender Lorenzo Tonelli (25/5) is suspended, while the hosts also miss defensive midfielder Tiberio Guarente (1/0) and offensive midfielder Simone Verdi (23/1), both out due injury.
Napoli, on the other hand, is finally again in a very good form, as the side comes into this game after three consecutive victories in Serie A. Not only that, the team managed to progress in semifinals of Europa League over German side Wolfsburg, who seemed as one of the most in-form sides in whole Europe.
Most recently, they won 4:2 at home against Sampdoria, showing real touch of class when speaking about their effort in front of opponents goal. However, not all the things started as planned, as the visitors took the lead in 12th minute via Albiol, but hosts responded within three minutes in the first halftime to revert the score, via Gabbiadini and Higuain. Insigne and Higuain again (this time from penalty kick) sealed completely fair victory to give the team chances of competing in Champions League battle once again. Right defender Christian Maggio has served his suspension and will be included into the starting lineup. Forward Michu (5/0) remains long term absentee, same as full back Juan Zuniga (7/0) and midfielder Jonathan de Guzman (23/3), all three sidelined due injuries.
After two months of unreliable performances, Napoli finally got into the right form and surely won’t surrender easily now. The team again has a chance to approach closer to Champions League tickets battle and shouldn’t blow up this chance against individually much weaker Empoli.
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