Napoli resume their Serie A challenge with a potential banana skin when Sampdoria arrive at San Paolo for the early kick off on Monday 6 January.
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Rafa Benitez’ team is going well in third place in Serie A. Napoli recovered from a little blip at the end November when losing two league games and a Champions league game in Dortmund to go unbeaten through December. The run up towards the winter break wasn’t without it’s drama in Naples. The Azzuri twice squandered a match-winning lead to draw 3-3 at home to Udinese before defeating Inter 4-2 in a rip-roaring match in their last home game.
Napoli have Fiorentina breathing down their neck in the chase for a Champions League spot next season and the expectations will be for the home team to retain their current status with a win against the bottom-half side. However, the visit of 14th-placed Sampdoria may not work out so straight forward as the league standing might indicate.
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Sampdoria sacked Delio Rossi as head coach in November following three consecutive defeats. His replacement, Sinisa Mihajlovic has had an immediate impact and Sampdoria remain unbeaten in six games under the Serb’s guidance.
Confidence will be high as Sampdoria look forward to continuing their climb up the table in the New Year and the players won’t be daunted by the trip to Naples. Mihajlovic’s men showed their steel in the San Siro to force a 1-1 draw against Inter and kept a clean sheet to earn a point from this fixture last season.