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Serie A | Gameweek 13
Nov 25, 2023 at 5pm UK
Gewiss Stadium
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Preview: Atalanta BC vs. Napoli - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Atalanta BC and Napoli, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Heading back to the future, Napoli aim to kick-start their Scudetto defence on Saturday evening, when they visit Atalanta BC under 'new' management.

Walter Mazzarri's second spell starts against La Dea, who sit just one point and one place behind in the Serie A standings.

Match preview

Cagliari coach Walter Mazzarri on September 19, 2021© Reuters

Sitting some 10 points adrift of league leaders Inter Milan - and the last time Serie A's reigning champions were so far behind at this stage was back in 1994 - Napoli's title defence has so far lacked the flair and conviction of last season.

It was only a matter of time before club president Aurelio Di Laurentiis decided to act, and the unloved Rudi Garcia effectively wrote his own goodbye note by overseeing a 1-0 home defeat to lowly Empoli just before the international break.

With several other candidates either overlooked or unavailable, De Laurentiis turned to one of his trusted former coaches, Walter Mazzarri, perhaps recalling that only three men have led Napoli to more league wins than the ex-Watford boss throughout their long Serie A history.

Having started his first reign in 2009, Mazzarri spent just under four years in charge of the Partenopei, guiding them to the last 16 of the Champions League and then winning the Coppa Italia. However, his career took a downward trajectory thereafter, and the 62-year-old's most recent appointment was at Cagliari, where he was sacked midway through last year.

Mazzarri has signed an initial seven-month contract at Stadio Maradona, and his men now have plenty of catching up to do, as they sit fourth in Serie A and are also at risk of missing out on a place in the Champions League's knockout phase.

It may even benefit the Scudetto-holders to play their first game under new management away from the pressure cooker of Naples, where they have picked up only seven points so far this season - just half of their tally on the road.

Napoli have also won each of their last three league matches against Atalanta ahead of this week's meeting in Lombardy, when they will attempt to register four straight top-flight wins over La Dea for the very first time.

Atalanta's Berat Djimsiti celebrates scoring their first goal with Sead Kolasinac on November 9, 2023© Reuters

After staying on course to progress in Europe by beating Sturm Graz a few days earlier, Atalanta's final fixture before international football intervened saw them visit Serie A strugglers Udinese.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side had seen off their Europa League opponents shortly after losing to Inter in the league, but only Ederson's late leveller prevented them going home empty-handed from Udine, where they produced just two shots on target.

Far from the rotating cast of coaches found in Naples, 'Gasp' has provided continuity in Bergamo for some seven years now, and his stated aim this season is to lead a rejuvenated squad back into the Champions League.

However, conceding twice to Inter brought an end to La Dea's five-game unbeaten run at the Gewiss Stadium, during which they had not shipped a single goal, and as a result of taking one point from a possible six to start November, they slipped to fifth in the standings.

Atalanta have still conceded the fewest goals in home fixtures this term, so they may fancy their chances of frustrating Napoli this weekend - and perhaps even beating their Campanian counterparts for the first time since 2021.

Atalanta BC Serie A form:

Atalanta BC form (all competitions):

Napoli Serie A form:

Napoli form (all competitions):

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Team News

Genoa's Radu Dragusin in action with Napoli's Victor Osimhen on September 16, 2023© Reuters

As he faces a baptism of fire - Real Madrid and Inter are up next on Napoli's packed schedule - Walter Mazzarri will have been glad to welcome first-team regulars Victor Osimhen, Piotr Zielinski and Alex Meret back to full training this week.

Last season's Capocannoniere has been out of commission since suffering a hamstring injury on Nigeria duty last month, Zielinski withdrew from the Poland squad with tonsillitis; meanwhile, Meret has been struggling with a calf problem.

Saturday's game is set to come too soon for Osimhen, though, while Mario Rui's adductor injury means that Mathias Olivera should feature at left-back.

Giacomo Raspadori deputises for Osimhen in the hosts' front three, with support from winger Matteo Politano, who has been directly involved in more Serie A goals than any other Italian player this season: five of his own and three assists.

Although he recently failed to deliver in Euro 2024 qualifying, Gianluca Scamacca has scored three times in his last two starts for Atalanta and is favourite to lead La Dea's front line this weekend.

Fellow forward Charles De Ketelaere hopes to be passed fit in time to face Napoli, but teenage defender Giorgio Scalvini - who was forced to pull out of Luciano Spalletti's Italy squad with a recurring back problem - is at risk of joining Matteo Ruggeri and Jose Luis Palomino on the sidelines.

Due to accumulated bookings, midfield mainstay Marten de Roon must serve a suspension; long-term absentee El Bilal Toure remains unavailable, with the Malian striker's comeback pencilled in for the end of 2023.

Atalanta BC possible starting lineup:
Musso; Toloi, Djimsiti, Kolasinac; Hateboer, Ederson, Koopmeiners, Zappacosta; Pasalic, Lookman; Scamacca

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Natan, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Elmas; Politano, Raspadori, Kvaratskhelia

SM words green background

We say: Atalanta BC 1-1 Napoli

After a patchy start to the season and some unsettling off-pitch turmoil, a fresh face in the dugout could yield immediate results for Napoli. Renowned for his team of Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, returning coach Mazzarri is still well regarded in Naples and could help the Partenopei earn a point against tough-to-beat Atalanta.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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1Inter Milan1210112962331
3AC Milan127232014623
5Atalanta BCAtalanta126242011920
19Hellas VeronaHellas Verona12228716-98

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