Match Preview: Napoli Kick Off Their Serie A Campaign With Daunting Trip to Verona

Match Preview: Napoli Kick Off Their Serie A Campaign With Daunting Trip to Verona

  • Luciano Spalletti will tonight lead out his Napoli team for the first time this season without experienced starters
  • Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens have already departed Naples, casting doubt over their title credentials
  • Victor Osimhen will be looking to add more numbers after fending off interest from top European clubs

Napoli will tonight travel to Verona to kick start their Serie A campaign, looking to go two steps better than last season.

Napoli have not won the Scudetto in over 30 years and fell off the pace to Milan clubs last season after keeping up for the better part of the campaign.

Luciano Spalletti, Napoli, Hellas Verona, Victor Osimhen
Napoli's head coach Luciano Spalleit addresses the media ahead of the opening clash against Verona. Photo by SSC Napoli.
Source: Getty Images

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Verona, meanwhile, will be looking for a fourth-successive top-half finish and perhaps qualify for Europe next season.

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What the managers said

Napoli head coach Luciano Spalletti was full of praise of new signing Kim Min-Jae who was signed to replace Kalidou Koulibaly.

Through that video you have all watched, where he presented himself, you can take all the qualities of the man, of the footballer, made of personality, because presenting himself like this with managers at dinner is personality.

Team News

But even as Spalletti celebrates Kim's arrival, he will have to deal with the exits of experienced footballers who left. Apart from Koulibaly, who joined Chelsea, Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens left for Toronto and Galatasaray, respectively.

His opposite number Gabriele Cioffi is new to the seat, having replaced Igor Tudor, who joined Marseille. Cioffi will miss Federico Ceccherini, who was injured in the last warm-up game of the season.

For Napoli, Kim and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are in line for their competitive debuts for their new clubs.

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Players to watch

Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen will lead the line for Napoli. Osimhen offers the most potent form of attack for Spalletti's side, especially after the departures of Insigne and Mertens.

Meanwhile, Verona will look up to Kevin Lasagna, who scored three goals against Napoli in his career.

Jose Mourinho's AS Roma kick off the new season in style

Sports Brief had earlier reported that Jose Mourinho's AS Roma have kicked off the new Serie A campaign on a positive note after seeing off Salernitana in their season opener staged at Stadio Arechi on Sunday, August 14.

The match saw Mourinho unleash his new-look Roma side, with summer arrival Paulo Dybala making the starting XI.

The veteran coach partnered the Argentine ace in attack alongside Tammy Abraham and Nicolò Zaniolo as Tonny Vilhena and Antonio Candreva debuted for Salernitana. Despite Roma's arguably strong lineup, they struggled to break Salernitana's stubborn defence in the opening exchanges.