Napoli vs Lecce

Stadio Diego Armando Maradona forms the backdrop for Napoli’s ‘make or break’ Serie A home meeting with Lecce. 

It’s been a forgettable season for Napoli. In addition to producing the worst Scudetto-defending campaign in Serie A history, Francesco Calzona’s men could miss out on European football next term if they fail to better Torino’s result on the final day. But even if they leapfrog the Turin outfit into ninth, ‘I Partenopei’ would still need Fiorentina to lift the Europa Conference League title next week. Given all the struggles, it’s barely surprising that club president Aurelio De Laurentiis is working around the clock to convince Antonio Conte to take over the managerial reins this summer. With Calzona set to return to his Slovakia job full-time after this match, he’ll be desperate to go out in style and snap Napoli’s woeful six-game winless run in his final game in charge (D4, L2). 

Napoli’s traditionally superb league finales, featuring six last-day wins in the past eight seasons (D1, L1), could strike fear into the hearts of the Lecce fans, though they’ve secured Serie A survival with a game to spare. But it wasn’t due to their late-season revival, considering the visitors entered the final round on a four-game winless league run (D2, L2), failing to score twice in that sequence. Despite Lecce’s well-documented travel sickness, manager Luca Gotti may relish the opportunity to hit the road, with the visitors’ two Serie A away victories this season coming on their last four trips (D1, L1). Scoring remains an issue for Lecce, with ‘I Giallorossi’ averaging a meager 0.83 goals per away league match this term.

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