Napoli have been quietly impressive under Rafael Benítez this season -- or at least had been up until their last match. Though they lost to league leaders Roma last month, they bounced back to record three consecutive victories. Then Juventus happened. Suffering a 3-0 defeat away in Turin just before the international break was the exact opposite of impressive, and left the partenopei down in third.
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Fortunately they should be able to heal their injured pride with a win over Parma on Saturday, with the crociati having been inconsistent of late. Roberto Donadoni's side really ought to be challenging for a place in the top half, though narrow defeats to Genoa and Juventus and a draw with Lazio in their last three games have left them down in 11th.
However, they can take heart from their last few displays against the partenopei. While Napoli have won the last three meetings between these sides, Parma have managed to score a goal in each match -- and usually are pretty good at raising their game against the best sides. It wouldn't be all *that* surprising if they were able to pick up at least a point, especially with Antonio Cassano and Marco Parolo in glittering goalmaking form.
Napoli will be without a couple of full-backs in Juan Zúñiga and the oddly-excellent Giandomenico Mesto, though otherwise have a full-strength team available. That said, there are some concerns over the fitness of playmaker Marek Hamšík, who may only make the bench. Goran Pandev's position as chief Hamšík backup isn't exactly reassuring for Neapolitan fans.
For Parma, veteran keeper Nicola Pavarini, goal-shy striker Stefano Okaka and long-term injured midfielder Daniele Galloppa are injured, while energetic wing-back Aleandro Rosi faces a two-game suspension.
Napoli injuries and suspensions
Out: Juan Zúñiga, Giandomenico Mesto (injured). In doubt: None.
Parma injuries and suspensions
Out: Nicola Pavarini, Stefano Okaka, Daniele Galloppa (injured); Aleandro Rosi (suspended). In doubt: None.
Match Date/Time: Saturday, 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy
TV: beIN Sport USA (U.S. - English), RAI Internazionale (U.S. and Canada - Italian), Sky Calcio 2, Premium Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S. and Canada)