Bologna vs. Napoli, Preview: A win for Napoli takes them to the Champions League

Giuseppe Bellini

With seven points in hand over AC Milan in third and only three matches remaining, one more victory is all that's required for Napoli to secure their place in the group stage of next season's UEFA Champions League.

Bologna seemed to be on their holidays already at the weekend, going down 6-0 to Lazio with Miroslav Klose netting five of those. This came after a run of five consecutive draws all but sealed the Rossoblu's participation in Serie A next season, lying eight points above Palermo in the final relegation spot with only three matches to play allied to a far better goal difference than anyone below them in the table. Up until their thumping by Lazio, Bologna had enjoyed a relatively successful season, putting together a couple of good runs in November and March after looking at first as if they'd be right in the relegation scrap. Alberto Gilardino has rediscovered his scoring touch away from the limelight with 13 goals and Alessandro Diamanti has once again proven himself to be amongst the best Italy has to offer, cementing his place in the Azzuri setup.

Should they get the victory they require to put themselves in the Champions League group stage for next season, Napoli can consider their season a relative success. Although last season brought a Coppa Italia triumph, this season they have challenged for the Scudetto and although eventually the depth of Juventus showed, Napoli can nevertheless be happy with the Champions League. Speculation over the future of Edinson Cavani didn't appear to have unsettled the Uruguayan as he rattled in a hat-trick against Inter on Saturday night to take his goal tally for the Partenopei to 102 in just three seasons. It seems as if El Matador is on his way out of Napoli but maybe, just maybe, the promise of Champions League football next season may make him think about staying put. Napoli are unbeaten in seven matches whilst Bologna haven't won in the same amount, so the visitors are very much the favourites to go on and reach the promised land of qualification for Europe's elite competition.

Bologna will have to do without Archimede Morleo who is suspended, whilst Nicolo Cherubin is still injured and Diego Perez and Panagiotis Kone are both doubts. Napoli have no such concerns, only long-termer Leandro Rinaudo is out whilst Hugo Campagnaro could make a return.

Bologna injuries and suspensions

Out: Gianluca Curci, Nicolo Cherubin (injured); Archimede Morleo (suspended). In doubt: Diego Perez, Panagiotis Kone, Cesare Natali

Napoli injuries and suspensions

Out: Leandro Rinaudo (injured). In doubt: Hugo Campagnaro

Match date/time: Wednesday 8th May 2013, 8:45pm local, 2:45pm E.T.

Venue: Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna

TV: Sky Calcio 3 (Italy)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.