S.S.C. Napoli

V

Stadio San Paolo

15/02/2018 | 8:05 pm

RB Leipzig

V

Stadio San Paolo

15/02/2018 | 8:05 pm

In a sentence: Serie A table-toppers Napoli take on the team sitting in second placed in the Bundesliga in the Europa League.

Last time: We’re set for a first on Thursday, as these sides have never met before.

This time: Napoli are 10/11 to win while Leipzig are 16/5 and the draw is 3/1.

You might remember: On their way to the 1988/1989 UEFA Cup triumph the Azzurri faced East German side Locomotive Leipzig in the second round. Napoli drew the first game 1-1 in Leipzig before winning 2-0 in the San Paolo. RB Leipzig may be unrelated to that Locomotive Leipzig side but that year Napoli spent most of their travels in either West or East Germany, also facing Bayern Munich and Stuttgart on the road to lifting the cup.

Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

A view of Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo, which will host this Europa League clash

Napoli, who are sitting top of the table in Serie A, face a dilemma of whether to ignore the Europa League and focus solely on the league, or to at least give this cup competition a go. Sarri tends to pick the same XI for league games so should give his fringe players a run out in this one.

RB Leipzig meanwhile are currently second in the German Bundesliga and can probably afford to go all out in the Europa League, while maintaining their challenge for the top four on the domestic front.

Napoli are 10/11 to win here and have only lost to Juventus in the league, Atalanta in the Coppa Italia and Manchester City in the Champions League at home all season. The Azzurri have gone out at this stage of the Europa League in three of their last five seasons in the competition. A 1-0 win for Napoli could be decent value at 8/1, while a 2-0 victory is priced at 10/1.

RB Leipzig are 16/5 to leave Naples with the win. The German side have only won away from home four times in the Bundesliga and once in the Champions League. The odds are 14/1 for Leipzig to nick a 1-0 away win, while a 2-1 victory for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side is 12/1. The draw is 3/1, and you can get odds of 6/1 on a 1-1 scoreline, while a goalless draw is 12/1 and 2-2 is 14/1.

Napoli’s Jose Callejon is 6/1 to score the game’s first goal, while the odds are the same for Timo Werner to break the deadlock. Piotr Zielinski is 3/1 to score at any time during the game, with the Polish international currently on seven goals in all competitions this term.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Napoli’s reserves to get a runout, as they try to impress and force their way into the first XI. Zielinski and Marko Rog should get the nod in midfield and both are capable of scoring, with the latter 4/1 to score anytime.

2

We fancy:

A draw, as Napoli could struggle at times if they’re missing players, and most notably top scorer Mertens. Leipzig will hope to score an away goal and with the likes of Werner and Naby Keita on the field, they have a chance. Keita is 7/2 to score anytime while Werner is 9/5.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

A 4-1 win for Napoli is 35/1. The Azzurri beat Lazio by the same scoreline last weekend and are capable of creating chance after chance when they are playing at full tilt. Lorenzo Insigne to be the last goalscorer is 6/1.

Written by Ciro Di Brita

Ciro Di Brita is a football fan and fanatic of all things Naples – not least Napoli. A published author and novelist based in Ireland, Ciro will happily turn his hand to writing on any topic but will always try to work in a reference to Napoli wherever possible.