Siena vs Napoli, preview: Which side needs the winter break more?

Paolo Bruno

Siena are dead last. Napoli just got docked two points and divested of all hope of a trophy this season. These two sides would love to skip this match and hit the beach.

As bad weeks go, this has got to be the absolute worst for Napoli. First, on Sunday, they came back from behind to lead Bologna 2-1, only to see the visitors snatch the win, and shatter their unbeaten home record, in the very last minute. Then, on Wednesday, the two sides played 90 minutes of dour football before Panagiotis Kone got the winner in injury time. That sent the Coppa Italia holders out of the tournament.

If that weren't enough, on Tuesday, Napoli were docked two points for their role in the latest Italian betting scandal. The points deduction means the partenopei are now fifth, rather than sharing second -- and a Champions League spot -- with Lazio. Oh, and club captain Paolo Cannavaro has been suspended for six months. But considering he looked more like a liability in the league match against Bologna, this might actually lift Napoli's spirits.

Then there's Siena. They've already suffered for their involvement in calcioscommesse, having been docked six points at the beginning of the season. That deduction means the robur are dead last -- although to be fair, they'd still be struggling to avoid the relegation zone if they had their full 17 points.

Last week, Siena fell 4-1 to Fiorentina in the Tuscan Derby. For some reason, this loss to a top-rated side prompted the club to shove Serse Cosmi out the door, replacing him with the almost indistinguishable Giuseppe Iachini. Iachini promptly lead his side to a 1-1 draw against Lazio in midweek Coppa action. Lazio took the honors when Siena could only score one of their penalties. In fact, Siena couldn't even score in regular time -- it was Lorik Cana who did it for them.

In other words, this has all the makings of a superb match. Good thing it's the one being broadcast in most countries!

Siena Injuries and Suspensions

Ângelo, Andrea Campagnolo, Zé Eduardo and Alessio Sestu (injured); Neto and Simone Vergassola (suspended)

Napoli Injuries and Suspensions

Blerim Dzemaili (injured); Gokhan Inler (suspended)

Let's just get this out of the way once and we'll never speak of it again: Paolo Cannavaro has been banned from calcio for six months for failing to report match fixing. Ok, let's move on.

Match Date / Time: Saturday, December 22 at 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Siena

TV: Sky Calcio 1, BeIN Sport USA, RAI Internazionale

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