Napoli vs. Chievo, Preview: Partenopei must bounce back from last weekend's defeat

Claudio Villa

The heat's been turned up in Naples -- can the partenopei respond with enough fire to overcome relegation-battling Chievo?

Napoli aren't exactly having the best week. Last Saturday, their unbeaten run ended in a 2-0 defeat to Juventus. They lost 3-1 to Dnipro in Europa League play -- after which the supporters refused the players' shirts. On Friday, news broke that the club is being investigated for alleged match-fixing. Later that same day, UEFA handed down a hefty fine for inappropriate fan behavior. Now, it seems star striker Edinson Cavani may be sitting out this weekend. If ever there was a time for Marek Hamsik, Goran Pandev or another Napoli player to step up, Sunday is that time -- if only to staunch the trickle of blood before it starts to pour out of the wound.

Chievo Verona are unlikely to think much about their opponents so-called woes, considering they're now in the relegation zone. In the two matches since Eugenio Corini took over from Domenico di Carlo, the Flying Donkeys have earned four points. But their match against Fiorentina last week suggests nothing has changed regarding Chievo's ambitions. After the Viola equalized less than a minute after Cyril Thereau's opener, Chievo did precious little else, particularly past the 60 minute mark. Look for cautious, let's-just-get-a-point play in Naples.

Napoli Injuries and Suspensions

Edinson Cavani and Valon Behrami (in doubt)

Cavani pulled up in training, which will, to put it lightly, put a damper on things for Napoli. They can bring in Lorenzo Insigne, but...

Chievo Injuries and Suspensions

Alberto Paloschi, Paul Papp, Gennaro Sardo, and Lorenzo Squizzi (injured)

Squizzi's a backup keeper, Papp has played but one match and Paloschi hasn't seen a Serie A pitch this season. Sardo fell to injury against Sampdoria -- Nicolas Frey took his place last week and likely will again.

Match Date/Time: Sunday, October 28 at 8:45 p.m. local, 3:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio San Paolo, Naples

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy). And the majority of the world, except the U.S., where presumably the partenopei fail to register.

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