Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Prediction: Leicester City vs Napoli

Verdict: Napoli double chance

Best Odds: 2/3

Bookmaker: Unibet

Two sides who are looking to open their Europa League run with victory on Thursday night, Leicester will welcome Italian giants Napoli to the King Power.

Leicester City

Starting with the hosts, while Leicester might have put in a largely impressive display on home soil when returning from the international break, the Foxes were hit with a 1-0 defeat against Manchester City. Despite lifting both the FA Cup and Community Shield over the summer, Brendan Rodgers’ side have shown some inconsistencies this time around. Once again missing out on a Champions League return at the final hurdle last season, the one-time Liverpool boss has seen his side muster just six points from their opening four Premier League matchups. Blown away in the capital as they were hit for four by West Ham on August 23rd, Leicester will also be worried by what appear to be some extended issues at the King Power. Including that 1-0 loss at the hands of the defending English champions last weekend, Rodgers’ side have now lost three of their last four Premier League contests on home soil. Involved in what turned out to be a disappointing Europa League run last season, the Foxes could face a stern test in midweek.

Team News

Working his way back to full fitness, defender Ricardo Pereira could feature at the King Power.

Summer arrival Patson Daka could be in line for a start up top alongside Jamie Vardy.

Napoli

As for the visitors, making the decision to appoint new boss Luciano Spalletti over the summer, few would have expected what has been a stunning start to the 2021/22 campaign. Despite their depleted squad getting hit with a friendly defeat at the hands of Benevento over the international break, Gli Azzurri certainly laid down another marker last weekend. With the mood in their camp likely to be at a red-hot high, the former Inter Milan manager saw his side pick up an eye-catching 2-1 win against Juventus on home soil. Winning each of their opening three Serie A contests and one of just three top-flight sides who can boast a 100% start to the new campaign, the Blues have continued to build off of their summer bounce. Mounting that impressive resurge against the Old Lady last weekend, Spalletti could be calling on Matteo Politano to spearhead their charge at the King Power. Once again finding the net against Juventus when returning from the international break, the 28-year-old has scored in back-to-back contests.

Team News

Limping off against Juventus last weekend, skipper Lorenzo Insigne is expected to miss out at the King Power on Thursday.

Likewise, Stanislav Lobotka will also miss out with a muscular injury, along with Belgium winger Dries Mertens.

Key Factors to Consider

    • Including a 1-0 loss against Manchester City last weekend, Leicester have lost three of their last four Premier League fixtures on home soil.
    • Napoli are one of just three Serie A sides who can boast a 100% start to the 2021/22 campaign.
    • Likewise, Thursday’s guests have scored over 1.5 goals in each of their opening three domestic victories.
    • The Foxes have managed to score more than a single goal in just one of their opening four Premier League matchups.
    • Only one of Napoli’s last five Europa League contests on foreign soil have finished with over 2.5 goals.

    Conclusion

    While Leicester might open Thursday’s meeting as a leading pick with the bookmakers, the Foxes could face a stern test at the King Power. Gaining a reputation continuing on from last season for their issues on home soil, a high-flying Napoli could be smelling the chance to cause an upset on foreign soil. Mounting what was an eye-catching resurge against Juventus in Naples last weekend, Gli Azzurri have gained plenty of plaudits since opening the 2021/22 campaign. One of just three Serie A sides who can boast a 100% start, new boss Luciano Spalletti should travel to the King Power with the mood in his camp at a real high.

    Verdict: Napoli double chance

    Best Odds: 2/3

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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