Roberto Donadoni’s side currently occupy 18th place in the league with 13 points after 14 rounds, and sit just one point below Frosinone. Maurizio Sarri’s side, on the other hand, have 31 points and they are one point above Scudetto rivals Inter.
The Rossoblu lost for the first time in Donadoni’s reign when Torino beat them 2-0 last Saturday. Prior to the Granata loss, Bologna had won two matches and drawn one since Donadoni replaced Delio Rossi on the Felsinei bench.
The Partenopei secured top spot by beating the Nerazzurri 2-1 on Monday night. This is the first time since 1990 that Napoli have lead outright in Serie A, which was the year they won their second and last Scudetto. Coincidently, their next opponent is the team they defeated to win the 1989-90 title. Napoli won 4-2 at the Dall’Ara on April 22 while title rivals AC Milan lost 2-1 away to Hellas Verona.
It was two seasons ago when this fixture was last played. Bologna held Napoli to a 2-2 draw in the 2013-14 campaign and the last time the Felsinei beat the Neapolitans in a competitive fixture was during a 2-1 victory in the Coppa Italia in December 2012.
Donadoni is expected to make two changes from the team that lost in Turin. Marios Oikonomou should take the place of Domenico Maietta in defence, and Matteo Mancosu could be replaced by Mattia Destro, who will be available after serving his one-match suspension. Sarri will probably stick to his preferred starting 11 despite Dries Mertens’ possible return from injury.
Bologna will be missing Emil Krafth with a bruised buttock and Maietta with a hamstring injury, while Mancosu is a doubt after he suffered a blow to his right foot; whereas Napoli are still missing striker Manolo Gabbiadini with an ankle injury.
Form Guide: Bologna (L-W-W-D-L) Napoli (W-D-W-W-W)
Bologna: Mirante; Rossettini, Oikonomou, Gastaldello, Masina; Donsah, Diawara, Brighi; Rizzo, Destro, Giaccherini
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Higuain, Insigne
Infographic from www.sporticos.com