Friday, November 16, 2018

Prediction: Napoli vs Florentina

Tom Dunstan in Betting Tips and News, Serie A 14 Sep 2018

1,403 Views

Verdict: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

After parting ways with Maurizio Sarri over the summer, last years runners-ups Napoli will need to bounce back from their 3-0 loss prior to the international break when they welcome Fiorentinaetina to the Stadio San Paolo on Saturday.

Napoli

Starting with the hosts, despite beating both Lazio and AC Milan in their two Serie A opening matches, former Italy boss Carlo Ancelotti must earn his money after the international break. Coming off the back of a very disappointing 3-0 loss away at Sampdoria, last years runners-ups will be glad to return to Stadio San Paolo on Saturday. Now unbeaten in their last seven matches at home, they will also be looking for last seasons top scorer Dries Mertens to carry on from last season. Finding the net against AC in their last home match, the 31-year-old scored 18 league goals last season. Saturday’s hosts will also be boosted by their stellar goalscoring record on home soil. Scoring 77 combined goals last year, The Blues finished with the second best-attacking stats in the division and have also found the net 13 times in their last five matches at home.

Team News

A few tweaks aside, Ancelotti is likely to stick with the team that let him down against Sampdoria. With former ​Tottenham man Vlad Chiriches still recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, the dependable Raul Albiol will partner Koulibaly.

Fabian Ruiz has recovered from a thigh strain and could start, while Simone Verdi’s knock means Mertens and Jose Callejon will battle for a place on the wing.

Fiorentina

As for the visitors, although Fiorentina could only land an eighth-place finish in Serie A last season, Viola have started the new season in incredibly impressive form. Beating Udinese 1-0 before the international break, The Purples, along with defending Champions Juventus, are the only sides to pick up maximum points. While Napoli have Mertens, Fiorentina have their own forward who is enjoying an impressive start to the new campaign. 24-year-old Italian Marco Benassi already has three goals in Serie A this season and sits atop of the goalscoring charts. However, while it has been a bright start in their opening two games, Stefano Pioli’s outfit have struggled with the defensive issues on the road. Losing their final pre-season game 3-0 away at Bundesliga side Schalke, Fiorentina have only managed to keep one clean sheet away from Stadio Artemio Franchi in their last 10 Serie A matches.

Team News

Things are slightly more problematic in Fiorentina’s camp, as first choice goalkeeper Albin Lafont’s thigh strain saw him substituted in their last match against Udinese. Still not 100%, it looks as if Bartlomiej Dragowski will start between the sticks.

Elsewhere, Marko Pjaca could be in line for his first 90 minutes. The Croat has come in from Juventus, and will offer La Viola width in attack.

Key Factors to Consider

  • In the reverse fixture at the Stadio San Paolo last season, Napoli came away with a 4-1 win.
  • Fiorentina forward Marco Benassi has three goals in his opening two games and sits joint top of the Serie A goalscoring charts.
  • Six of Fiorentina’s last eight games have seen both teams find the net.
  • Napoli’s last five matches at the Stadio San Paolo have seen over 2.5 goals and both sides finding the net.
  • Last years top scorer Dries Mertens scored 18 Serie A goals last season.

Conclusion

On paper, it has all the makings of a matchup offering plenty of chances at either end. Two sides who have enjoyed a very impressive start to the new season in the final third, both Fiorentina and Napoli will have their sights on once again securing European football. With the reverse fixture ending in a 4-1 scoreline last season, we a forecasting a very similar outcome on Saturday. Three of their five combined opening games have finished with both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals, we belive backing the same market at 1/1 is the smartest bet here.

Verdict: Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 1/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

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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