Napoli will travel to Stadio Artemio Franchi to face Fiorentina in their first Serie A match of the season.
Led by Carlo Ancelotti, Napoli finished second in the league last season behind champions Juventus. The gulf was huge in magnitude, as they were 11 points behind Juve. Napoli did not mount a credible challenge for the title, and Juventus had the hold on the Scudetto from early on. That was in stark contrast to the season before that when Napoli gave a tough fight till the very end only to come up short. Maurizio Sarri was the Napoli boss then, who will be in the Juventus dugout this season.
Ancelotti will begin his second season in charge in Naples. He has the core of his squad intact, which is an encouraging sign. The attacking trio of Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, and Jose Callejon is still intact with the strikers like Arkadiusz Milik. Napoli look to have a mean defence as well this season. They signed Kostas Manolas from Roma this summer. The Greek defender will partner Kalidou Koulibaly in the heart of the defence, which should give way to a daunting duo to face.Embed from Getty Images
Napoli made no major signings aside from Manolas, and most of the squad is the same as from last year. They are rumored to be in for Inter striker Mauro Icardi, but nothing concrete has materialized as of now. Only Atalanta scored more goals than Napoli in the league last season, which suggests that their attack is good to go as it is. Napoli’s defence was one of the best as well, and they will hope to continue in that department as well.
Fiorentina escaped last season, but barely. They finished in 16th place, just three points clear of the relegation places. Fiorentina were winless in their last five league games, losing four of them. But they managed to survive and will begin another Serie A campaign in the coming weeks. Manager Vincenzo Montella has been at the club for a few months, and this will be his first full season in Florence.
Defensive midfielder Erick Pulgar has been their only major signing of the summer so far. Pulgar was signed from Bologna for a fee of €10 million. Aside from him, Kevin-Prince Boateng was signed from Sassuolo. The striker’s experience can be a valuable input for Fiorentina this season. Other notable loan arrivals include right-back Pol Lirola and midfielder Milan Badelj.Embed from Getty Images
Despite the clear gulf in the two sides in recent years, the head to head record has been close. In the last seven league meetings, Napoli have won twice, and Fiorentina have won once. The others have ended in draws.
Fiorentina vs Napoli Betting Tips
Napoli will be the favorites to pick up the three points against Fiorentina. The home side will make it tight, and the crowd will be up for it. But Napoli should have enough quality to get the better of them. The total goals should be over 2.5 in this match.