Napoli has exceeded expectations, but at the same time is on the verge of a crisis. Last weekend, they fell from first to third place in the Italian Serie A. Five days later, they could be eliminated from the UEFA Europa League.
The good news is that they depend on themselves to advance. All they need is a victory over Leicester City. More good news, they’re slight betting online favorites at +110. The Foxes could settle for a draw.
Napoli vs Leicester City 2021 Europa League Group Stage Matchday 6
Napoli to Bounce Back
Napoli will try to return to the winning column after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Atalanta at home. The visitors finished winning 3-2 after overcoming a one-goal deficit in the second half. Losing made Napoli yield first place to AC Milan.
Not having Victor Osimhen, the team’s top scorer with nine goals in all competitions, has affected them. The Nigerian won’t be back until January after having surgery on his cheekbone and eye socket.
Gli Azzurri still have a dangerous attacking unit thanks to Hirving Lozano, Dries Mertens, and Matteo Politano. The thing is that Osimhen was having a great season and was becoming a leader on and off the field.
But no time for regrets because no matter who plays, Napoli must beat Leicester City. The Italian side sit in Group C third place with seven points, one less than the English side. Spartak Moscow sits in second, also with seven points, but owns the advantage after beating Napoli twice.
Curiously enough, no other team has scored more goals than Napoli. They’re averaging 2.4 goals per game when it comes to the continental competition. That’s why they dominate the soccer odds despite sitting in third place. That and the fact that they own a 7-1-2 record when playing at home.
Napoli predicted lineup: David Ospina; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahmani, Juan Jesus; Kevin Malcuit, Piotr Zielinski, Stanislav Lobotka, Mario Rui; Hirving Lozano, Dries Mertens, Elif Elmas.
Leicester City’s Best Chance
Remember the good ol’ days when Leicester City used to fight for the English Premier League? Well, you better do, because those aren’t coming back anytime soon. The Foxes currently sit in eleventh place, 16 points behind first place. That ship has sailed.
Knowing that, winning the UEL is Leicester’s best chance to save the season. And I believe they do have what it takes to do it, starting with a killer striker. Jamie Vardy has scored nine goals in all competitions. He has scored 13+ goals in each of the last six EPL seasons.
The Foxes sit in first place with eight points, but they too could be eliminated. If they lose, and Spartak Moscow vs Legia Warszawa doesn’t end in a draw, they would be out. The good news for them is that a draw in San Paolo would be enough to advance.
They come in as a very tempting online gambling underdog at +220 after winning their last road game in Moscow. They overcame a two-goal deficit to finish winning 4-3. Patson Daka scored all four goals. Oh yes, Leicester also has a very dangerous attacking unit beyond Vardy. Daka, Kelechi Iheanacho, James Maddison, and Marc Albrighton are part of it.
Last Sunday, they lost 2-1 to Aston Villa in the EPL. Several usual starters didn’t play to be at 100 percent for this crucial game.
Leicester City expected lineup: Kasper Schmeichel; Daniel Amartey, Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu; Ricardo Pereira, Youri Tielemans, Boubakary Soumare, Timothy Castagne; James Maddison, Ayoze Perez, Jamie Vardy.
Napoli vs Leicester City Head to Head
The first leg was an intense back-and-forth battle. At one moment, Leicester City was up 2-0, but Napoli managed to save a point. Ayoze Perez and Harvey Barnes scored for the English side, while Victor Osimhen scored twice for the Italians.
Leicester finished the game with 10 players after Wilfred Ndidi got a red card in the last minutes.
Napoli vs Leicester City Game Information
- Date: Thursday, Dec. 9
- Time: 12:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Diego Maradona Stadium, San Paolo
- Napoli vs Leicester City Live Stream: fuboTV
Napoli vs Leicester City Betting Lines
|Napoli||-½ +110||+110||3 +115o||1½ Evo/-130u|
|Leicester City||+½ -140||+220||3 -145u||1½ +160o/-200u|
Napoli vs Leicester City Prediction
The pressure is on Napoli. The Italians must take the reins right from the start due to playing at home and the urgency to win. I do believe they’re the better team, but Leicester City can be lethal on the counterattack. It’s going to be a close one and both will score, but the total won’t go over.
Trust the Catenaccio and include Napoli in your soccer picks, they rarely lose two games in a row.