Fiorentina may have started the new Serie A (SA) campaign unbeaten after two games (W1, D1) but their goalless draw last Sunday in the Tuscan derby against Empoli was still a disappointment. The same can’t be said about their Thursday night stalemate with Twente however, as Vincenzo Italiano’s men qualified for the group stage of a European cup after a five-year absence, by beating the Dutch side 2-1 on aggregate.
Don’t expect another goalless draw here though as Fiorentina last produced three consecutive 0-0 draws from competitive matches back in 1980. The arrival of Napoli should bring an end to that trend regardless as Fiorentina have scored eight goals in the last two competitive meetings (W2), although they have lost three successive home H2Hs as well, whilst conceding eight goals in total themselves.
More goals look likely as free-scoring Napoli have netted nine goals in the opening two rounds for the first time ever – four more than second best Inter and AC Milan. Their new offensive acquisitions of Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori – who scored a combined 27 SA goals last season – only watched those performances from the bench, so Napoli’s attacking power is expected to grow even further as those two get game time.
Luciano Spalletti’s men are hurtling towards another terrific start after they began last season with eight consecutive SA wins, which included a 2-1 victory here. Securing a similar result would actually see Napoli win their first three games of the season in three straight top-flight campaigns for the first time ever, so they appear to have the pedigree – and consistency – to keep their current winning start going.
Players to watch: Fiorentina’s Nicolás González picked up a goal and an assist in the last H2H and has already opened his account this term with a vital strike against Twente. Meanwhile, after registering two goals last time out, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia became the first Napoli player to score 3+ goals in his opening two SA matches for the club.
Hot stat: Fiorentina have opened the scoring in five of the last seven H2Hs (W3, L4).