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League leaders can keep it clean on trip to Crotone.

FOOTBALL CROTONE v NAPOLI 7.45pm WALTER ZENGA led Crotone to a 1-0 victory over Chievo in his first home match in the Rossoblu dugout but will struggle to come up with a winning formula for the visit of Serie A leaders Napoli, writes Dan Childs.

Last season Crotone finished fourth bottom and they are in the same position this term as they gear up for another battle for survival.

Three of their four wins have come at home but they have hosted only one of the top seven teams, losing 2-0 to Inter in September.

Zenga may be looking to bring in some new players in January and could do with adding improvements to all areas of the squad given there are problems in both boxes. Crotone have shipped 36 goals in 18 games and scored just 13 times.

Getting anything against titlechasing Napoli is a tough ask and it is easy to see why the visitors are long odds-on favourites.

Not since 1989-90 and the era of Diego Maradona have Napoli won the Scudetto but they are building something special under head coach Maurizio Sarri, who steered then to second place in 2015-16 and third last season.

Napoli have set the pace for most of the season and lay claim to Italy's best away record, having collected 25 points from a possible 27 on their travels.

Sarri's team are renowned for producing exciting, adventurous football with Belgian forward Dries Mertens, who has ten goals in 18 games, playing a starring role.

But the big improvement this season has been in defence with Napoli shipping just 13 goals, eight fewer than at the same stage of last season.

They have chalked up nine league clean sheets and can achieve another shutout against Crotone.

Recommendation Napoli to win to nil 1pt Evs Betfair STANDINGS HOME ITALY AWAY PLWDL FA WDLF APTS 18 6 21 20 6 Napoli.............8 10 21 7 45 18 8 11 22 4 Juventus.........6 11 23 10 44 18 7 11 21 8 Inter................5 3 1 13 6 40 17 7 0 2 15 7 Roma ..............5 21 13 4 38 17 4 22 20 10 Lazio...............7 11 23 12 36 17 6 0 2 20 8 Sampdoria .....2 3 4 12 18 27 18 5 3 1 18 9 Atalanta .........2 3 4 10 14 27 18 4 22 14 9 Fiorentina ......3 3 4 13 10 26 17 5 0 5 18 14 Udinese ..........3 0 4 12 11 24 18 24 2 12 11 Torino.............3 5 2 13 16 24 18 423 8 9Milan..............315151724 18 23 4 11 15 Bologna..........5 0 4 11 10 24 18 3 3 3 12 14 Chievo ............2 3 4 7 16 21 18 22 5 4 10 Sassuolo.........4 0 5 8 18 20 18 126 1017Genoa.............3335 517 18 3 15 10 14 Cagliari...........2 16 6 15 17 18 24 3 12 14 Spal ................1 26 7 17 15 18 324 712Crotone..........1176 2415 18 216 817Verona............1359 1913 18 0 18 6 22 Benevento......0 0 9 3 19 1 FORMGUIDE -2.30 CROTONE v NAPOLI +2.60 Last six seasons: - - - - - 1-2 Lazio a 0-4 3-2 h Sampdoria F Chievo h 1-0 1-0* h Udinese F Sassuolo a 1-2 3-1 a Torino F Udinese h 0-3 0-0 h Fiorentina F Genoa a *0-1 1-2* a Feyenoord F MATCH BETTING bet365 BetBright Betfair Betfred Betway Boyles Coral Hills Ladbrokes P Power Sky Bet 188Bet Crotone 14 12 14 14 13 14 14 10 14 13 12 14 Napoli 2-9 1-5 2-9 2-9 1-4 2-9 2-9 1-4 2-9 1-5 2-9 3-13 Draw 5 9-2 11-211-2 5 9-2 5 5 24-5 5 5 26-5 Best-price percentage: 102 in both boxes. Crotone have sarri's team are renowned for Dries Mertens (centre) has starred for Serie A leaders Napoli this season with 12 goals in all competitions

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Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2017
Words:654
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