Napoli can return to winning ways in Fiorentina fixture on Monday
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | February 28, 2016
Fiorentina v Napoli
- Serie A
- Monday, February 29th
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
- Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence
- Live on BT Sport Europe
Neapolitan team have terrific Viola record
Italian top-flight duo Fiorentina and Napoli will both be smarting after making Europa League last 32 exits at the hands of Tottenham and Villarreal respectively in midweek, yet will approach their fixture in Florence very differently.
For the visiting Neapolitans, this is the perfect game to end a four-match winless run with, as they have lost to their Florentine counterparts just once in a dozen meetings, beating them on seven occasions.
That makes Maurizio Sarri’s side start as 27/20 favourites with Coral for victory over the Viola, who have lost this fixture on four consecutive occasions. A home win for Fiorentina is an 11/5 chance, while a draw is 9/4.
Prior to Juventus and Inter Milan’s Derby d’Italia encounter, the travelling team from Naples were just one point off top spot, while the Florence team enjoyed an advantage of four over the Nerazzurri.
Hiugain and Insigne provide visiting threat
Serie A’s leading marksman, Gonzalo Higuain, will be on show at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, and if the Argentina international net his league goal-tally will be 25 for the season.
There have been times this term when former Real Madrid frontman Higuain has been simply unplayable for Napoli, and he’s 7/2 to break the deadlock in Florence.
Sarri will be even more delighted with the form of Lorzeno Insigne, though, as he has stood out from among the supporting cast, reaching double figures for both goals and assists.
Both he and Higuain were on target in the reverse fixture back in October that the Neapolitans won 2-1, with a repeat scoreline a 17/2 chance.
With three in eight previous meetings with the Viola, Insigne’s price of 19/10 to net anytime is thus also well worth investing in.
Other usual suspects Jose Callejon (23/10 in that market), fellow winger Dries Mertens (a terrific 12/5 with three in six previous appearances in the fixture) and visiting captain Marek Hamsik (13/5) all make cases for similar scoring punts.
Eastern Europeans hold key to Florentine hopes
If Fiorentina are to end their wretched record when facing Napoli, then they need more from Croatia centre forward Nikola Kalinic, Slovenia attacker Josip Ilicic and others brought in this winter by Paulo Sousa.
One-time Blackburn Rovers flop Kalinic has grabbed Serie A’s only hat-trick this season, and was on target last time out in Serie A action. He’s 8/5 to net again anytime.
Ilicic, meanwhile, must try to end a five-match goal drought and is 2/1 to do so, but has never netted against Napoli.
Sousa also has younger alternatives Federico Bernardeshi (13/5) and Khouma Babacar (12/5) to consider, though Mauro Zarate, who joined from West Ham United in January, is suspended.
Even with these options, the Viola lack the firepower of their visitors, and that makes Napoli nifty at 19/5 to win with both teams scoring.
For more Serie A tips, check out our dedicated page.
Coral’s top tip: Napoli to win but both teams to be on target at 19/5.