Napoli – Good Attack But Poor Defence

Napoli – Good Attack But Poor Defence

If you’re excited about goals being scored in a football match, one of the teams who score these goals in scintillating fashion is Italian Serie A side, Napoli. The team from Naples boasts one of the deadliest attack force in the Serie A this season. However, Napoli’s penchant for conceding goals is constantly proving to be the bane of a great team.

Last season, Napoli were second top scorers in the Serie A. The Gli Azzurri scored 80 Serie A goals. Although they amassed such a massive goal haul, they still did not win the Serie A. The problem being that they simply conceded too many goals. At the end of the 2015/2016 Serie A season, Napoli had conceded a massive 32 goals and hence finished the season with a goal difference of 48 goals. That translated to a second place finish, 8 points behind winners, Juventus.

In contrast, Juventus had scored 75 goals and conceded just 20, ending the season with a goal difference of 55 goals – this paints a clear picture of what really is the problem for Napoli. They score plenty, yes, but concede an alarming number too, which translates to draws and defeats. Hence no Serie A title for Napoli and Juventus runs away with it.

This season has been no different for Napoli either – the trend has continued. Napoli has so far been the top scorers in the Serie A with 68 goals. But alas, they’ve again been shipping in goals and have conceded 32 times in the Serie A (the same number of goals they conceded last season), leaving them with a goal difference of 36.

So again, despite being top scorers in the league, Napoli has the least goal-difference among the Serie A top three – it’s only logical that they are now 10 points adrift of leaders Juventus.

A look at the Napoli attack

This season, a few players have stepped up for Napoli in the attack line and are expertly delivering the goods. Maurizio Sarri has managed to create a free-scoring attack line that poses the best goal-threat in Italy, so far this season.

The likes of Dries Mertens, José Callejón, Lorenzo Insigne and Marek Hamsik have been on fire this season leading the attack line. These four players have contributed 50 Serie A goals between them so far.

Napoli manager, Maurizio Sarri, lines up his Napoli team in a 4-3-3 formation with the attacking triumvirate of Dries Mertens, José Callejón and Lorenzo Insigne leading the line. The trio has contributed 40 Serie A goals between them this season. My pick of the lot is the Belgian, Dries Mertens, who is used by Maurizio Sarri as a false 9 – a position that Mertens has played almost to perfection, contributing 20 Serie A goals in the process.

Marek Hamsik who plays as a more direct attacking midfielder behind the attackers has contributed 10 Serie A goals himself. Hamsik is regularly assisted by two other midfielders – Brazilians, Allan and Jorginho.

The Napoli attack line is fast, very deadly on the counter, good in scoring shots from outside the box, creating goalscoring chances from the wings and finishing off chances with finesse. Napoli scores an average of 2.4 goals per game.

A look at Napoli’s poor defence

While the Napoli attack has been mesmerizingly good this season, their defence has left a lot to be desired. For me, if the Napoli defence has been a little better this season, SSC Napoli would be topping the Serie A standings without a doubt. Like was said before, Napoli has conceded 32 goals so far, which implies they concede at least one goal every other game. They’ve managed to keep just 8 Serie A clean sheets so far.

The likes of Faouzi Ghoulam, Kalidou Koulibaly, Vlad Chiriche, Raúl Albiol, and Elseid Hysaj who are regulars in defence must do more to help Napoli stop conceding cheap goals; for now, they’ve been lacklustre and a bit flat-footed.

Maurizio Sarri’s preferred centre-half pairing of Kalidou Koulibaly and either of Raúl Albiol or Vlad Chiriche must do more; these guys are sometimes run over far too easily.

Up next for Napoli in the Serie A is a game against table-toppers Juventus as the Gli Azzurri welcomes the Old Lady to the Stadio San Paolo after the international break. Can Napoli avoid conceding? If they can, then they’re sure to win that game, because I trust their attack to score more than once.

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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