Every European team wants to play the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, but only 32 can. The rest have to settle for the Europa League, but that doesn’t mean it’s a mediocre tournament, quite the opposite.
The 2021-22 edition will include Lyon, Rangers, PSV, AS Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen, and West Ham United. Also, Leicester City and Napoli, who are among the favorites to win the title and will collide in the first fixture. Napoli is currently leading the Italian Serie A, while Leicester had a mixed start in the English Premier League.
Let’s check the latest news, stats, injury reports, and soccer betting odds for Leicester City vs Napoli. We’ve plenty of predictions for you to consider!
Game: Leicester City vs Napoli
Location: King Power Stadium, Leicester
Time: Thursday, Sept. 16, 3 p.m. ET
Television: beIN Sports
Live Stream: fuboTV
UEFA Europa League Betting Lines
|Leicester City||-½ +120||+120||2½ -140o|
|Napoli||+½ -150||+230||2½ +110u|
Head to Head
This will be the first time they meet. Overall, Leicester City owns a 1-0-1 record against Italian teams. They scored and allowed three goals. Napoli owns a 7-5-11 record against English teams. They scored 24 goals and allowed 35.
Why bet on Leicester City?
First of all, Leicester City plays in the best league in the world. They’re used to a fast-paced rhythm, which should give them some advantage over most teams in the tournament. Second of all, they have an incredible offensive unit. That should be enough to include them in your soccer picks.
They started the EPL season with a 2-0-2 record, four goals for and six against. Most recently, they lost 1-0 to Manchester City. While losing is always disappointing, they proved they’re not afraid of any team.
“You have to soak up pressure and dig in as well, but from the first whistle to the very end, we were in it against the champions. We were very, very competitive, so I’m just disappointed we couldn’t take something from it because we had enough chances” said manager Brendan Rodgers after the game.
The game against Napoli will be very similar, which means they’ll have to be more effective in front of goal. Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho are the team’s top and pretty much only strikers. However, their midfield is incredibly talented and has an offensive mindset thanks to Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, and Marc Albrighton.
The Foxes also started the season 2-1-1 against the spread and 2-2 over/under. This is a very disciplined team. Several players have been in Leicester since they won the EPL in 2015-16. That allows them to have great chemistry between all lines.
James Justin, Wesley Fofana, and Jonny Evans are out due to injury. They all are defensive players, so they’ve to be extra careful about leaving spaces. Their expected lineup is Kasper Schmeichel; Ricardo Pereira, Caglar Soyuncu, Daniel Amartey, Luke Thomas; Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemans, Marc Albrighton, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes; Jamie Vardy.
Why Bet on Napoli?
If you’ve been betting online on the Italian Serie A, you know Napoli started the season on the right foot. They lead the league, alongside AS Roma and AC Milan, with nine points (3-0-0). They’ve scored six goals and allowed only two.
Most recently, they faced Juventus and won 2-1 thanks to a late goal from defender Kalidou Koulibaly. That proves they don’t depend on attacking players to score and win games, they’re a well-balanced team.
Napoli might not be a financial powerhouse, but their roster is very talented. Besides Koulibaly, the list includes Lorenzo Insigne, Hirving Lozano, Matteo Politano, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, and Kostas Manolas. Having someone like Lozano coming off the bench is a luxury.
They like to play on the counterattack, and they’re really good at it. They also started the season 1-0-2 against the spread and 2-1 over/under. Their confidence is up to the roof after beating Juventus. They want to prove they belong to the European elite.
Diego Demme, Faouzi Ghoulam, Alex Meret, and Stanislav Lobotka are questionable due to injury. Their expected lineup is David Ospina; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Kostas Manolas, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Fabien Pena, Andre Anguissa, Elif Elmas; Matteo Politano, Hirving Lozano, Lorenzo Insigne.
Final Analysis and Predictions
I believe Napoli can win the Europa League and starting on the right foot could be crucial. Beating Leicester City on the road would mean a lot more than three points. Expect them to play on the counterattack, with a ferocious defensive unit drowning Vardy. I like Napoli by 1 with both scoring.
Don’t forget to check the props our sportsbook is offering for this and other games to increase your winning chances. Take a shot on the correct score, half time/full time winner, and more!
Score Prediction: Leicester City 1 – Napoli 2