Following their crucial weekend win over AC Milan, Napoli welcomes Spezia to Stadio Maradona on Wednesday for their final Serie A game of 2021.


Despite an injury crisis depriving them of numerous first-team players plus coming off back-to-back Serie A defeats, Napoli claimed a massive 1-0 win at San Siro on Sunday to leapfrog AC Milan into second place in Serie A. Midfielder Eljif Elmas headed home what turned out to be the decisive goal in the fifth minute. Napoli survived a late Milan equalizer – subsequently ruled out by the VAR – to earn a win that keeps them four points behind Inter Milan at the Serie A summit. Napoli has the strongest defense in Serie A this season with ten clean sheets and just 13 goals conceded. Their record of six home wins in nine remains one of the best records in Serie A. Napoli have scored the fifth-most goals in Serie A, averaging almost two per game in front of their own fans. Midfielder Fabian Ruiz, Kalidou Koulibaly, and captain Lorenzo Insigne are major doubts. Striker Victor Osimhen and Defender Mario Rui are out injured.


Spezia has been in woeful form away from home – losing each of their last six away games in Serie A. They have lost five of their last seven outings in all competition, including last week’s Coppa Italia humbling at the hands of Serie B side Lecce. Spezia has defensive problems to sort out as they have conceded 39 goals this season with a massive 27 of those goals being conceded in their nine away matches. Their away record is also nothing to be proud of as only four of their 13 points have come on the road. Last season’s top scorer M’Bala Nzola – who has struggled to recreate such form this term – was recently left out for disciplinary reasons allowing David Strelec to join Rey Manaj upfront in Thiago Motta’s recently favored 3-5-2. Daniele Verde, Jacopo Sala, and Eddie Salcedo are ruled out with injuries.

PREDICTION: NAPOLI WIN 2-0/2-1/3-0/3-1