Monday, October 15, 2018

Prediction: Napoli vs Lazio

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

Serie A leaders Napoli face a tough test to their title credentials as they prepare to host the top-four contenders Napoli in arguably one of the most interesting matches in Italy this week.

Napoli

Following a couple of seasons’ worth of flirting with the Scudetto, Serie A hot-shots Napoli finally have a great chance to lift the coveted trophy they last won 28 years ago with legendary Diego Armando Maradona in the driving seat.

It’s been more than what Napoli fans hoped for since Serie A title last arrived in this southern Italian city but Maurizio Sarri and his high-flying side finally look like a unit capable of succeeding this year. Partenopei have gone through a steady progress over the past couple of seasons and with the likes of captain Marek Hamsik and huge attacking threats such as Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens they currently lead the pack with a one-point advantage in front of Juventus in second. The forthcoming weekend brings one of the most difficult challenges to Napoli’s title credentials with Lazio coming to town. Napoli’s eight-match winning run in the Serie A is under a strong test and Partenopei are well-aware they will need to win as any possible slip-up could turn out to be fatal. In addition to their fantastic attacking exploits, Napoli have this season been impressive at back, having conceded the least number of goals (14) in the league.

Team News

Defender Faouzi Ghoulam remains out of action after suffering a cruciate ligament rupture back in November 2017.

Arkadiusz Milik remains another long-term absentee for the hosts who will also be without Ounas for the occasion.

Lazio

Despite being labelled the selling club in Italy over the past couple of seasons, Lazio have gone from strength to strength under the guidance of Simone Inzaghi who is doing a remarkable job with his talent-packed squad.

Biancocelesti have launched an ambitious top-four challenge this season in Serie A and have a good chance of making it in the end if they can maintain their fine form this season. It will be easier said than done and Lazio seem to have lost the momentum a bit over the past two weeks, having lost back-to-back Serie A clashes – to AC Milan and Genoa, respectively. With Inter Milan and AS Roma breathing down their neck in fourth and fifth place in the standings, Lazio need to get back to winning ways and will be looking to grab – what would at the same time be a morale-boosting win – three points at Napoli. Inzaghi will most certainly hope the return of Ciro Immobile – who was injured back in January – would be a boost for his side, even though the in-form Italian striker failed to help his team avoid defeats in last two matches. The 27-year-old forward is still enjoying a highly-successful season with Lazio, being a top Serie A goalscorer with 20 goals on his tally at the moment.

Team News

Davide Di Gennaro and Wallace are the two confirmed absentees for the trip to Napoli.

Marchetti is unlikely to return, whereas Mauricio is suffering from an injury and remains out of the squad.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Napoli are coming off from an eight-match winning run in Serie A
  • Partenopei conceded only one goal in last 5 league matches
  • Lazio failed to win any of their three matches in all competitions
  • Biancocelesti are coming off from successive Serie A defeats
  • Ciro Immobile is Serie A’s leading goalscorer with 20 goals in as many games

Conclusion

The high-profile Serie A clash between Napoli and Lazio is generating plenty of anticipation. The forthcoming fixture at Stadio San Paolo is of huge importance for both sides who can’t afford to drop a single point in the race for the title and top-four, respectively. Goals are, nevertheless, expected between two sides who play an open-minded brand of football.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

 

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