Red-hot Nwankwo plotting Spezia upset after celebrating Crotone milestone

Nwankwo Simy of Crotone celebrates the equalizing goal during the serie A match between FC Crotone and Juventus at Stadio Comunale Ezio Scida on April 18, 2018 in Crotone, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maricchiolo/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Nigerian enjoyed a personal landmark scoring twice against Napoli, but he is already thinking of how to beat the Little Eagles

Simeon Nwankwo chose to look ahead to Saturday’s Italian top-flight showdown with Spezia rather than celebrate his individual milestone as a Crotone player.

The Nigeria international beat goalkeeper Alex Meret twice, although the Pythagoreans bowed 4-3 to Napoli during their last Serie A encounter at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

It was Serse Cosmi’s men’s third defeat on the bounce, albeit, the seven-goal thriller was a chance for the 28-year-old to score his 150th goal for the Stadio Ezio Scida giants.

To him, achieving that feat remains ‘a source of pride’ since joining the Italian elite division outfit from Portuguese side Gil Vicente five years ago.

However, he is more concerned about helping his team iron their deficiencies against Vincenzo Italiano’s side in their next league outing.

“I don’t like to speak on a personal level as you know,” Nwankwo told the club website.

“150 games wearing this shirt are a source of pride for me and I am very proud of what has been done in these 5 years, from the first day I arrived I felt the affection and love of everyone.

“Making three goals at home to Napoli is a lot of stuff but in the end it did not help because it was important to score points. We have to raise our heads and keep pedalling.

“It will be a direct clash [versus Spezia], we have to put everything on the pitch because it is a race that can give us so much.”

After 20 matches played so far in the 2020-21 season, Crotone sit at the base of the table having accrued 15 points. As it stands, they look destined for demotion at the end of the current campaign.

For Spezia, they occupy 16th position with 29 points from the same number of outings and are seven points above the drop zone.

Win or lose, Nwankwo would be hoping to continue on his impressive goalscoring form. He has scored eight goals in his last six outings for his side to take his tally to 15 so far.

Overall, he is the joint-fourth leading scorer in Serie A alongside Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan).

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