Kick Off: Sunday,Sep 26 2021 14:45
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Serie A leader, Napoli will welcome struggling Cagliari to Stadio Maradona on Sunday.
Napoli form (all competitions): WLWDWW
Following a scintillating start to life under Luciano Spalletti, this weekend, Napoli could win each of their first six games of a Serie A season for just the second time in their illustrious history - a feat only surpassed during the 2017-18 campaign, when they won the first eight. Still unbeaten in all competitions, having also drawn with Leicester City in the Europa League, the Partenopei enjoyed their latest success at the expense of Sampdoria earlier this week - recording a second consecutive 4-0 win in the process. Once more scoring twice in either half, as they did versus Udinese just three days earlier, Napoli surged back to the top of the table in the early throes of a potential season-long scrap for the Scudetto with the Milan clubs, Roma and even old rivals Juventus, who they beat 2-1 earlier this month. Netting 14 times in five league games - while conceding only two - demonstrates how successful Spalletti has been at ensuring a smooth transition from predecessor Gennaro Gattuso's turbulent reign, and centre-forward Victor Osimhen has finally established himself as a striker to be feared across the peninsula, following a troubled first year at the club.
Cagliari form (all competitions): WDLLDL
Cagliari are, in fact, unbeaten in their last two away games against Napoli, but have lost 15 of their last 20 encounters in Serie A - a more accurate reflection of the gulf in their relative stature during recent years. That gap looks like a yawning chasm when viewed through the prism of the current league table, as the Isolani are yet to record their first win and already trail their Neapolitan counterparts by 13 points after just five rounds of the campaign. Having already switched managers and, on Wednesday, lost to promoted Empoli, they are in a sorry state ahead of the trip to Campania; leaving new boss Walter Mazzarri - a former Napoli coach - with much to ponder.
Only a touch of understandable fatigue may slow down the relentless progress of Napoli this weekend, as their incessant fixture list will perhaps take its toll during the second half. By then, though, the Azzurri should already have secured a lead over hapless Cagliari, who are in for another season of struggle and strife, while their opponents dream of the Scudetto.
Pick: home win