Previews: Lionheart Donadoni needs Napoli to roar
Sunday's 4-1 drubbing at Genoa left Napoli with three points from their first three Serie A games, an unimpressive tally for a club that spent big in the transfer market to reinforce a squad already rich with talented players.
The former Italy coach was called on to replace Edy Reja in March to halt the side's descent down the table after a strong start but his arrival did not lead to a late-season flourish.
The disappointing beginning to this campaign has shortened the odds of him being Serie A's second coaching casualty after Luciano Spalletti quit AS Roma, although the former Italy and AC Milan midfielder is not feeling the heat.
"I don't feel my position is in question. It would be absurd after just three games," he told reporters. "Instead I feel like a lion that wants to come back in a hurry."
Donadoni certainly has material to work with.
Napoli's biggest close-season signing, Italy forward Fabio Quagliarella, demonstrated his ability with a brace in their 3-1 win over Livorno before the international break and he should be fired up for the clash with his former club this weekend.
Slovakia midfielder Marek Hamsik has shown he can be a handful too, finding the net three times so far.
Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi has not made his mark yet this term after being on the verge of leaving the club following a row with president Aurelio De Laurentiis but he is a potential match-winner too when on song.
However, Donadoni's quest to fix the defensive frailties exposed by Genoa have been complicated by a thigh injury that is expected to keep Argentine Hugo Campagnaro out for three or four weeks.
He is suspended this weekend anyway along with fellow defender Salvatore Aronica.
The 46-year-old coach might not be fearing the sack yet, but he recognises he needs to bring about a major improvement soon.
"If there are still problems in six or seven matches' time, then a deeper analysis of the situation will be needed," Donadoni said.
Udinese travel to Naples with four points after Serie A top scorer Antonio Di Natale scored a hat-trick in Sunday's 4-2 win over Catania to take his goal tally to six.
Juventus defend their 100 percent record later on Saturday at home to Livorno, while Genoa will also be looking for their fourth consecutive win when they face Chievo Verona away on Sunday.
Genoa's city rivals Sampdoria, who have a made perfect start too, entertain Siena and champions Inter, who are two points behind the leading trio, visit Cagliari.
AC Milan, who are five points off the pace after a stuttering start, take on Bologna at the San Siro.
After gaining their first points by beating Siena in new coach Claudio Ranieri's first game last weekend, AS Roma