European chasers Cagliari and Napoli meet in Sardinia on Sunday evening in Serie A action, as both aim to close the gap on the top six.
Cagliari (4-3-1-2): Cragno; Mattiello, Pisacane, Klavan, Pellegrini; Nandez, Cigarini, Ionita; Pereiro; Joao Pedro, Simeone.
Unavailable: Cacciatore, Pavoletti, Farago, Oliva, Rog.
Napoli (4-3-3): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Mario Rui; Ruiz, Demme, Zielinski; Callejon, Milik, Politano.
Unavailable: Ghoulam, Malcuit.
– Cagliari won their last league meeting with Napoli, ending a streak of 18 winless matches against them in Serie A (D5 L13).
– Following a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture this term, Cagliari could win back-to-back games against Napoli in a single Serie A season for the third time, after 2007/08 and 1969/70.
– Napoli have won each of their last four away games against Cagliari in Serie A by an aggregate score of 14-0 – indeed, the Rossoblu have managed to score just one goal (Nenê in December 2013) in their last eight home league matches against the Azzurri.
– Cagliari are winless in their last nine Serie A games (D4, L5) – the last time they suffered a longer such streak was back in April 2015 (11 games).
– Napoli have conceded in each of their last 11 league games, while the last time they suffered a longer streak of games without a clean sheet in Serie A was in 1997/98; a season that ended with relegation.
– Napoli have had the biggest decrease in points difference compared to this stage of last season in Serie A – the Partenopei have picked up 22 points fewer than they had at this point of the 2018/19 season (30 v 52), more than twice as much as any other team.
– Gennaro Gattuso is the first coach to have not kept a clean sheet in any of his first eight Serie A games on the Napoli bench since Giovanni Galeone in 1998 – only one coach has failed to keep a clean sheet in each of his first nine games with the Partenopei (Eugen Payer in 1938).
– Cagliari’s Giovanni Simeone scored his only Serie A hat-trick to date against Napoli, back in April 2018 – he has netted five of his six league goals this term at the Sardegna Arena.
– Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne has scored three goals and provided two assists in his last seven Serie A games against Cagliari. Should he play in this game, he would equal Ottavio Bugatti (256) as the player with the fifth-most appearances for Napoli in Serie A.
– Napoli forward Dries Mertens has been involved in 11 goals in his seven Serie A starts against Cagliari (nine goals and two assists).