Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 11/10
The midweek round in Italian Serie A sees in-form Lazio take on league leaders Napoli is what should be a real spectacle of football at Stadio Olimpico. Both sides have been in tremendous form of late and this match definitely seems too close to call.
Lazio have been making progress of late after several difficult years, but many expected the Biancocelesti to struggle this term after seeing the likes of Lucas Biglia, Balde Keita and Wesley Hoedt all leave this summer. Adam Marusic, Lucas Leiva, Nani and Felipe Caicedo were hardly big name signings, but it is the old guns who have stepped up the plate and did well to compensate for said departures. Even with star player Felipe Anderson missing through injury, Lazio enjoyed a very good start to the new season, first beating Juventus to the Italian Super Cup trophy before winning three of first four Serie A fixtures. While the entire team have been playing really well, it was Ciro Immobile who again stole the headlines, bagging 10 goals in 8 games for club and country. Spanish starlet Luis Alberto took great advantage of Felipe Anderson’s absence to nail down a regular starting berth, supporting the impressive Immobile together with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Biancocelesti head into the Napoli clash brimming with confidence after four straight wins, and they have been averaging three goals per game since the opening goalless draw with SPAL.
Felipe Anderson and Wallace continue to miss out, but Nani is back in contention and Marco Parolo will be recalled.
Napoli have been without a doubt Italy’s most exciting side ever since Maurizio Sarri made a risky decision to play winger Dries Mertens as a centre forward and the Azzurri have never looked back. The Stadio San Paolo outfit didn’t quite manage to keep up with champions Juventus last term, but many believe they finally stand a good chance of ending a 27-year wait for a league trophy. Napoli head coach didn’t want to upset the balance of the squad with new signings and he only recruited Mario Rui and Adam Ounas, while there were no notable departures this summer. And while many were surprised to see the Azzurri lose to Shakhtar Donetsk in their opening Champions League fixture, Napoli impressed to win the remaining six fixtures, climbing to the Serie A summit in the process. The 6-0 hammering of Benevento will serve as a an additional boost ahead of the all-important clash with Lazio at Stadio Olimpico, and there are no doubts this will be a very good test of Napoli’s title ambitions. The good news is that the Azzurri have won 11 of their last 12 games in the league, defeating the likes of AC Milan (2-1), AS Roma (2-1), Lazio (3-0) and Inter Milan (1-0) in the process.
Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri has absolutely no selection worries at the moment, although he could make some changes to the side that faced Benevento at the weekend.
Key Factors to Consider
- Napoli won 11 of last 12 Serie A games on the road
- The Azzurri defeated Milan, Roma, Lazio, Inter and Torino in the process
- Napoli won three of last four meetings with Lazio
- The Azzurri kept a clean sheet in each of those games
- Immobile and Mertens scored 6 and 5 league goals respectively this term
Lazio are playing their best football in years, but the problem is that so is Napoli, with the Azzurri looking to extend an outstanding run on the road. And having also won three of their last four games vs the Biancocelesti, we are backing Napoli to record an important triumph.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 11/10
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