Our football match prediction:
David faces Goliath at Stadio San Paolo on day 20 of the new Serie A campaign. Napoli are eager to keep their hopes of winning Scudetto alive and they are eyeing their fourth consecutive win at home. The Partenopei failed to impress in Sunday’s game against Sampdoria, but thanks to Lorenzo Tonelli’s late goal Maurizio Sarri picked up all three points from the match. Napoli are seven points behind league leaders Juventus in the Serie A standings, meaning that this has to go down as a must-win game for the hosts. Pescara aim to move away from the relegation zone, but considering that the newcomers are on a 16-game winless run in the Italian top flight, we predict that the underdogs will return home empty-handed. A man to watch in the home team will be Dries Mertens, who has netted 15 goals in all competitions so far this season.
Highlighted Player (Vlad Chiriches):
Vlad Iulian Chriches had an unusual path to the biggest stage, spending some time at the Benfica youth academy before returning to Romania to start his professional career at International. The central defender arrived to Steaua Bucuresti via Pandurii Targu Jiu and he needed just a year and a half to secure a big club move. After snubbing a number of offers from Italian Serie A, Chiriches joined Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2013, becoming Steaua’s record transfer in the process. However, the Romania international did not enjoy the best of starts to his career in England and he was sold to Napoli after two somewhat disappointing seasons at White Hart Lane. Chiriches has struggled for playing time at Stadio San Paolo as well, and he will probably need to play on regular basis if he is to realise his full potential. Meanwhile, the powerful defender remains an important member of the Romania national team, having earned more than 40 caps for the Tricolorii since making his debut in 2011.
Highlighted Team (Pescara):
Pescara are an Italian football club that play in the Serie A. The Delfini (The Dolphins) returned to the Italian top flight at the end of the 2015/2016 season and it has to be noted that they competed in six seasons in the elite division (1977–78, 1979–80, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1992–93, 2012–13). Pescara play their home matches at Stadio Adriatico, the stadium that was opened in 1955 and renovated in 2009. The club’s main rivals are Lazio and Verona, but the likes of Chieti, Virtus and L’Aquila are considered Pescara’s bitter rivals as well. Vicenza and Messina are regarded as Gemellaggi (Twinning) with Pescara. Delfini have yet to win the Serie A trophy, but it has to be noted that they won the Serie B twice (1986/1987, 2011/2012). The colour of Pescara’s home kit is white and blue, while the team’s away kit is dark blue.