Nigerians in Serie A: Game week 12 preview
Previewing Victor Osimhen, Ola Aina and Simy Nwankwo who ought to feature for Napoli, Torino and Salernitana this weekend.
Despite returning from a muscular injury, Osimhen wasn’t risked for Napoli’s important Europa League encounter at Legia Warsaw on Thursday.
Nigeria’s top marksman seeks his sixth Serie A strike of the season and his first since netting a bullet header in a 1-0 success over Ola Aina’s Torino in mid-October.
With AC Milan and Inter Milan set to face off in the campaign’s first Derby della Madonnina, success over Hellas Verona could see the Partenopei open a lead at the top of the table if Stefano Pioli’s team drop points in Sunday’s big clash.
Verona thwarted Napoli’s chances of playing Champions League football this term with a final-day 1-1 draw seeing the Azzurri just miss out for a second season running, so Osimhen and his colleagues will look to exact some revenge for that stalemate.
While he didn’t score or assist last time out, Aina played impressively in Torino’s 3-0 hammering of Sampdoria.
The wide defender has started five of the Bull’s last six league games and it’ll be surprising if the former Chelsea man doesn’t feature against struggling Spezia on Saturday afternoon.
Success for Torino will be a second consecutive league win and a third in four Serie A games but having failed to beat Spezia twice last season ought to be wary heading into this weekend’s clash.
Simy searches for his first Salernitana start in three games, but there are obvious merits in playing him from the off against Lazio this weekend.
Even though he has made only one start under new head coach Stefano Colantuono, Simy’s record against the Rome outfit bodes well.
The towering marksman has scored three times against the Biancocelesti — more than he has managed against any other side in Serie A — including a brace in his last appearance at Stadio Olimpico.
It remains to be seen if Simy trusts the Crotone loanee but you sense he’ll relish the opportunity of putting Maurizio Sarri’s Jekyll and Hyde team to the sword on Sunday.
Seye Omidiora is a passionate football writer and pundit whose deep appreciation for the beautiful game exceeds the usual. He is currently a columnist for Goal Africa and has previously written for Vital Football UK, IBCity Info and Opera News.
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