Serie A Week 36 - 17/5/09 (14.00 UK)
Napoli - Torino
Stadio San Paolo
According to Napoli Coach Roberto Donadoni, his team have a simple objective to achieve before the end of the season – reach 50 points and better last year’s total. As things stand, the Partenopei currently lie in 13th place with 43 points and three games remaining until the end of the season.
Looking at the fixtures Napoli have left – Torino at home, Catania away and Chievo at home – one would think Donadoni’s side has a chance of finishing the season on a high. Lest we forget, this is the team that has already beaten Inter, Juventus and Fiorentina this year, and memorably held Serie A top scorers Milan to a goalless draw.
However, since Donadoni replaced Edy Reja on the Napoli bench he has won one, drawn five and lost two, improving his side’s lot by just eight points from a possible 24. By persisting with Reja’s 3-5-2 formation, Donadoni has left himself open to criticism from the players and the Italian Press.
Some would say he is going with what the players know and it’s too late in the season to change things and implement his own style. Others would accuse him of a lack of ideas and personality, which is exactly what the club needs to give it a boost.
Far from commanding the players’ interest, Donadoni already appears to be having problems reining in the club’s party culture.
Torino will be hoping to capitalise on the general malaise in Campania, as they look to secure their place in Serie A next season. The Granata were unlucky to grab only a point from their relegation tussle with Bologna on Sunday.
Torino had taken the lead midway through the first half only for Bologna’s Marco Di Vaio to score an equaliser from the spot with just four minutes remaining. The Granata are only a point clear of safety with three games left this season and will have one eye on Bologna’s match with Lecce this weekend.
Keep an eye on: Alessandro Rosina (Torino) – The talented Trequartista has saved his best form for the end of the season. ‘Rosinaldo’ entered the record books on Sunday, becoming the most prolific penalty taker in the history of Serie A when he converted his 11th straight spot-kick. A cool head under pressure is just what Torino need right now.
Last season: Napoli 1-1 Torino
Form guide: Napoli (D L W L D) Torino (W L W L D)
Napoli (probable): Navarro; Santacroce, Cannavaro, Contini; Montervino, Blasi, Bogliacino, Datolo, Mannini; Denis, Pia
Torino (probable): Sereni; Franceschini, Natali, Pisano; Diana, Dzemaili, Barone, Rubin; Rosina; Bianchi, Stellone
Ref: To follow...