Osimhen eyes Mertens, Higuain goals record
Napoli will be banking on Victor Osimhen to extend their lead at the top of Serie A to an astonishing 18 points by beating Sassuolo on Friday (today) evening.
Having lost their first league game of the season to Inter Milan in their first match after the World Cup, Napoli have been unbeaten in their last six games, with the Nigerian scoring a total of eight goals from those victories.
The Partenopei’s Serie A titles in 1986-87 and 1988-90 — during their golden Diego Maradona era — remain their only ever triumphs in Italy’s top division, but it would require an unthinkable collapse for them not to add a third after Inter dropped two more points with a 0-0 draw away at struggling Sampdoria on Monday.
As such, Luciano Spalletti’s side travel to Sassuolo 15 points clear of their nearest rivals at the summit, having only dropped seven points in 22 matches this season. A seventh straight league win would surely make their lead unassailable, if it is not already
With a Champions League last-16 tie against Eintracht Frankfurt to look forward to next week, the only blemish on Spalletti’s copybook during his debut season to date has been their penalty shootout exit to Cremonese in the Coppa Italia last month, which came as a huge surprise, considering that it represented first versus bottom in Italy’s league table.
Meanwhile, Osimhen who has scored 17 goals in 18 league games, will be aiming to equal the goals record of former Napoli duo Dries Mertens and Gonzalo Higuain in the encounter.Mertens was Napoli’s Serie A topscorer in the Season 20117/18 season with 18 goals, while Higuaín recorded the same goals feat during the 2014/15 season.
The Nigerian has also been ranked the third fastest player in the top five European Leagues — English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.
Only Borussia Dortmund winger Karim Adeyemi (36.65 km/h) and Chelsea’s winger Mykhailo Mudryk (36.63 km/h) have better fast times than Osimhen in the top five European leagues, according to Transfermarkt.
The Nigeria international clocked a top speed of 36.61km/h during Napoli’s match-day five tie against Lazio on September 3, 2022.
Mudryk hit the fastest speed recorded in the Premier League this season on his debut against Liverpool on January 21.
Osimhen has featured in 18 Serie A matches, scoring 17 goals to top the scoring chart in Italy’s topflight.