Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Napoli will be aiming to retain top position in the standings when they host Rijeka at their Stadio San Paolo. The Neapolitans defeated Rijeka in Croatia thanks to Braut’s own goal, and Genaro Gattuso’s troops are once again seen as hot favourites to beat Simon Rozman’s troops. Even though the likes of Hysaj, Rrahmani, and Osimhen are likely to miss the game for the hosts, we are tempted to put our money on the Serie A outfit.
Rijeka, on the other hand, do not seem to be competitive at this level, with the team suffering a loss in each of their first three group games. David faces Goliath in Naples and anything but a routine home win would be a major surprise. In Osimhen’s absence, Andrea Petagna, who joined the club in the summer, is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts.
Highlighted Player (Kalidou Koulibaly):
Despite being born in Saint-Die-des-Vosges, France on June 20, 1991, Kalidou Koulibaly represents Senegal on the international stage. Koulibaly began his youth career at Saint-Die, but he played for Metz at the start of his career as well.
The left-footed defender continued playing for les Grenats at the senior level and it has to be noted that he made 42 appearances in the league for the club before joining Genk in 2012. In 2014 Koulibaly signed a five-year deal with Napoli for a fee of £6.5 million. In August 2014 the Senegal international made his Champions League debut in a 1-1 draw with Athletic Club.
Kalidou Koulibaly is a tall, quick and physically strong footballer, who is impressive in the air. He is capable of playing as both centre and full back. The Napoli defender made his Senegal debut in September 2015 against Namibia. In 2017 he represented the Lions of Teranga at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Highlighted Team (Rijeka):
Founded on July 29, 1946 as Sportsko Drustvo Kvarner, Rijeka are a Croatian football club that have always been in Dinamo Zagreb’s shadow. Dinamo are undisputedly the biggest football club in Croatia, but Rijeka did well to put an end to their dominance in the HNL in the 2016/2017 season.
The Rijecki bijeli won their first ever domestic trophy and, as a result, they made it to the Champions League qualifiers. However, Greek champions Olympiacos proved to be a big catch for Matjaz Kek’s troops in the play-offs for the group stages of the elite competition.
Before the breakup of Yugoslavia Rijeka won two domestic cups (1977/1978, 1978/1979) and it has to be noted that they clinched their fourth Croatian Cup title in 2017, with the team beating Dinamo Zagreb in the final of the competition. Rijeka welcome their rivals at Stadion Rujevica and the capacity of the stadium is 8.279. The venue was opened in August 2, 2015.