Sunday, August 9, 2020

Prediction: Napoli vs Lazio

Jamie Jones in Free Soccer Predictions, Serie A 31 Jul 2020

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Verdict: Lazio to win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Napoli will take on Lazio at Stadio San Paolo in the final round of matches in Serie A on Saturday. The hosts are as low as seventh in the league table at the moment with 59 points from 37 matches, while Lazio are currently fourth in the standings with 78 points from 37 games.

It is essentially a meaningless game for Napoli – slated to start at 7:45pm UK time on Saturday – as they cannot finish any higher or lower than seventh, but Lazio can still finish second behind champions Juventus if they pick up all three points from the encounter and the match between Atalanta and Inter Milan ends in a draw.

Napoli

Napoli have endured a hugely disappointing Serie A campaign in 2019-20, and the Neapolitans probably cannot wait to see the back of the season. Assured of playing in the group stage of the Europa League next season after winning the Coppa Italia this term, there is nothing to play for Gennaro Gattuso’s on the final weekend of the campaign.

Gattuso took over in December 2019 following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, and the AC Milan legend has to be given credit for the way he has handled things at the club and for leading the team to cup success. It is all about the summer transfer window and next season now for Napoli, who are unlikely to put too much resources or effort into Saturday’s game.

Team News

Dries Mertens is available for Napoli after the 33-year-old Belgium international forward served his suspension against Inter.

Kostas Manolas and Fernando Llorente are still injured and will not be available for the home team this weekend.

Lazio

Lazio were in the running for the Scudetto for quite a long time this season, and although they are assured of a Champions League place for next season, Simone Inzaghi’s side will be disappointed that they could not push Juventus all the way in the title race.

Defeats to AC Milan, Lecce, Sassuolo and Juventus in July put flight to Lazio’s chances of catching the Bianconeri at the top of the table, and there is a distinct possibility that they may not even finish second.

However, finishing in the top four and ending well above bitter city rivals AS Roma has to be considered a very good season, and the team will be determined to end the 2020-21 campaign with a flourish against Napoli.

It will be a big game for star striker Ciro Immobile, who is aiming to become the top scorer in Serie A this season and add to his tally of 35 goals.

Team News

Stefan Radu, Lucas Leiva and Senad Lulic all are on the sidelines at the moment and will not feature in Lazio’s final league fixture of the campaign.

There are no new injury or suspension worries for the Biancocelesti.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Napoli will head into the match on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Inter at San Siro.
  • The Partenopei have scored just 58 goals in the league this season, 20 fewer than Lazio.
  • Ciro Immobile is just one short of the all-time record for Serie A goals in a single season.
  • Lazio have conceded only 39 goals in the league, while Napoli have shipped in 49 goals.
  • In the reverse fixture in January, Lazio won 1-0 against Napoli at home.

Conclusion

With Napoli having nothing to play for and Lazio still in the hunt for the second spot, the chances are that the visiting team will take the game more seriously and will certainly head into the encounter as favourites.

With Immobile in red-hot form and set to win the top scorer’s award in Serie A this season – ahead of Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, it must be added – it is hard to see anything past a victory for the Roman outfit.

Verdict: Lazio to win

Best Odds: 23/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie Jones


Jamie Jones is an experienced football journalist who has been working in the industry for years. Jamie watches all the major leagues in Europe, especially the Premier League and La Liga.

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