Fiorentina have lost both of their Serie A matches since the turn of the year and will face a tough task getting back to winning ways against Napoli at the Artemio Franchi on Sunday (11.30am GMT).
The Viola began the season superbly, losing just two of their first 15 matches, but have faltered a little over the last month or so, recording three defeats in their last five matches to lose ground on the top three.
In part this is due to teams working them out and finding strategies to deal with their possession-based approach, but Fiorentina have also got worse defensively as the season has progressed. They only conceded seven goals in their first 10 matches, but have let in 17 in their most recent 10.
Despite their recent bad patch, Vincenzo Montella’s men are still fifth in the table with 35 points from 10 wins, five draws and five defeats. They are just five points shy of their visitors on Sunday, Napoli, who are third with 40 points from 13 wins, three draws and four defeats.
In contrast to their hosts, Napoli are enjoying a good run of form that has seen them win five of their last seven Serie A matches, including convincing home victories over Roma and Palermo in their first two matches of 2013.
The Partenopei are the third highest scorers in the division with 40 goals to their credit, 16 of which have been scored by the prolific Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, whose hat-trick against Roma two weeks ago was his eighth in all competitions since joining the club in 2010.
This Preview’s Betting Tip: Seven of Napoli’s and nine of Fiorentina’s last ten matches have ended with three or more goals, and with the home side struggling defensively of late we expect Sunday’s match to yield a similar number.