Sassuolo v Napoli – Stadio Città del Tricolore at 11:30 live at BT Sport
Napoli dispatched Udinese 3-0 last weekend to make it 32 points from a possible 39 across their last 13 Serie A fixtures. It’s a figure that only table-topping Juventus can match and has almost guaranteed the Partenopei entry into the Champions League next season.
Maurizio Sarri’s side have closed the gap to second-placed Roma to just two points and although Juventus appear uncatchable, Napoli must be wondering what might had been if they’d avoided a sticky patch in October.
The Partenopei lost three times in October – they’ve only lost four times all season – and although two of those three losses came against Juve and Roma, Sunday’s visitors would still be in the title race had they escaped with at least a point from those fixtures.
The great entertainers
Nevertheless, Italy’s great entertainers are concluding their campaign in style. Napoli have won five of their last six games – a dominating draw against Juventus the only blip – and scoring three goals in each victory.
Sarri’s side are famously free scoring, and when on song they’re the best team to watch in the division, and one of the most thrilling in Europe. No team in Serie A has scored more goals than Napoli (75) and the away side arrive in Sassuolo defending the league’s best road record.
The Partenopei have W10-D3-L2 on their travels and claimed top honours in each of their past six games as guests. Having also claimed maximum points in 10 of their last 12 trips to middle-third teams, backing Napoli to produce the goods once more seems the obvious angle to take.
Sarri has a full squad available once again and isn’t expected to make changes to his team with second-place the key aim between now and May.
Sassuolo’s disappointing season
Sassuolo might be safe from relegation but the Neroverdi are fortune that Serie A’s bottom-third is the weakest its been in many a season. Ordinarily, Sassuolo’s indifferent campaign would have brought about a scrap for survival.
Last weekend’s surprising win over Sampdoria – their first taste of success in six – has raised spirits but the hosts have been shy on goals of late and head into this contest without injured pair Marcello Gazzola and Gregoire Defrel, plus the suspended Matteo Politano.
The betting angle
Sassuolo have only ever beaten Napoli once in Serie A and having been beaten in five of their last six as hosts, it’s hard to imagine the Neroverdi pack the punch required to bring Napoli down here.
Goals should be expected – each of Napoli’s last 11 away days have featured Over 2.5 Goals – but a better selection might be to back the visitors to clear a -1.25 Asian Handicap hurdle. We’ll pocket profit should Sarri’s troops win by two goals or more and only lose half our stake if Napoli only manage a one-goal triumph.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Napoli -1.25 Asian Handicap (1.88)
Prices correct at time of writing.