Gennaro Gattuso’s team only needs a point to secure a place in the Europa League knockout stage, and here is our Napoli vs Real Sociedad Preview for Thursday’s clash.
Napoli Recent Form & Team News
Napoli enter this UEFA Europa League fixture knowing that a victory would secure the group win. A draw would be enough to guarantee progression to the knockout stages. They have reason to go for victory here, possessing the opportunity to claim their first home win since the renaming of Napoli’s stadium to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
A result either way looks likely, as the hosts weren’t involved in a home draw since July (W7, L3). The last nine witnessing the victorious side on the day score first. However, five of Napoli’s eight home European matches (including qualifiers) against Spanish opposition have ended as draws (W2, D5, L1).
Player to watch: Matteo Politano has been the game’s last scorer in three of the four competitive games he has scored in. This also occurred in the reverse fixture.
Hot streak: None of Napoli’s seven competitive home games this term have witnessed both sides score before HT.
Gennaro Gattuso will be without Victor Osimhen, who is dealing with a shoulder injury.
Real Sociedad Recent Form & Team News
A win would catapult Real Sociedad into the knockout stage in any case, but any other result would be enough if they don’t do worse than Alkmaar, who will play at eliminated Rijeka. However, the fact that Sociedad’s two previous European road trips to Italy have both ended in defeat by at least a two-goal margin will not bring confidence to their fans.
Away from home, La Real are still unbeaten in all competitions this campaign (W5, D3), conceding only once before HT in that run. They scored first in each win, on the other hand. In fact, Sociedad have kept four clean sheets across their last five UEL away games, and five of Sociedad’s total nine goals from those matches came in the second half.
Player to watch: Jon Bautista has scored Sociedad’s opening goal after the hour mark from the bench. He did it in each of his two goalscoring UEL matches to date.
Imanol Alguacil cannot count on Jon Guridi (muscle), Asier Illarramendi (hip), and Mikel Oyarzabal (muscle). Luca Sangalli (knee), David Silva (muscle), and Alex Sola (knee) are also out.
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