Serie A champions Napoli will continue their title-winning procession when they face Bologna at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on Sunday.
Boasting an 18-point lead at the summit ahead of the penultimate round of fixtures, Luciano Spalletti’s side will be looking to put more icing on their scudetto cake as their remarkable campaign draws to a close.
Indeed, Napoli have won 27 of their 36 league games this season, suffering just four defeats in the process. The Azzurri also took 15 points from a possible 18 during the UEFA Champions League group stage before reaching the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition.
There have been multiple heroes for Napoli this season, including Piotr Zielinski, Alex Meret, Stanislav Lobotka, Kim Min-jae and Giovanni Di Lorenzo. However, two players in particular have starred throughout the campaign.
Top scorer Victor Osimhen has netted 28 goals this term, including 23 in 30 Serie A appearances, while Georgian playmaker Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has notched 14 goals and 17 assists across all competitions.
The Neapolitans bounced back from a shock 2-0 defeat at Monza with a 3-1 victory over Inter Milan last weekend, racking up 22 shots while enjoying 71% possession against the Champions League finalists, so they will be confident of adding another win to their tally on Sunday.
Bologna, meanwhile, ended a six-game winless run with a 5-1 victory over relegation-doomed Cremonese last time out, with former Stoke City and West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic joining Scottish midfielder Lewis Ferguson on the scoresheet.
Having enjoyed a solid season under Thiago Motta, Bologna could finish as high as eighth, which would be their best top-flight finish since 2001-02. That said, they could drop as low as 13th place due to the congested nature of the table.
In addition to avoiding defeat in each of their last six home league games, the Rossoblu have lost just three of their 18 Serie A matches at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara this term, meaning Motta’s men will fancy their chances of spoiling the champions’ scudetto party.
Let’s not forget that Bologna pushed Napoli all the way in the reverse fixture, although the Azzurri came from behind to win 3-2 back in October, with Osimhen scoring one of his many goals at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
When you look at the bigger picture, Napoli have won each of their previous five Serie A meetings with Bologna, scoring a combined total of 13 goals while keeping three clean sheets.
Bologna will be without the suspended Riccardo Orsolini on Sunday after the winger picked up a red card last time out. Adama Soumaoro and Roberto Soriano will also miss the game through injury, while Georgios Kyriakopoulos is a doubt due to illness.
On the flip side, Napoli’s Hirving Lozano will miss the trip to Emilia-Romagna with a knee injury, while Elif Elmas is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Serie A fans in the UK can catch the action on BT Sport 2.
Expert Insight: Naturally, Napoli have taken their foot off the gas since securing the scudetto, but last weekend’s dominant victory over Inter showed that Spalletti’s men are eager to finish the season on a high. With that in mind, Bologna are expected to struggle against the newly-crowned champions.