Wolfsburg v Napoli – Volkswagen Arena at 20:05 live on ITV 4
The Europa League Quarter Finals are upon us and what a match we begin with as Napoli travel to Wolfsburg in the 1st leg this evening. Wolfsburg are the favourites to lift the trophy after beating Inter Milan in the last round and will look to knockout another Italian side, starting with a win at home tonight. A cracking match for the Asian Handicap punters out there.
Dieter Hecking will be aware of the threat that Rafa Benitez’s Napoli can cause despite not being at their best recently. Napoli come into the match on the back of a 3-0 win over Fiorentina at the weekend, their first league win in 6 as their season faltered throughout March. The Partenopei now lie in 4th spot in Serie A, 7 points behind 3rd place Roma and look set to miss out on Champions League qualification for next year through the league. Winning the Europa League is now their only realistic chance of a return to Europe’s premier competition.
Napoli were also knocked out of the Coppa Italia last week, suffering a 1-0 loss to Lazio. Some expected Rafa to be given the boot after that loss but is set to ride out the rest of the season, before leaving in the summer.
The Italians have been impressive in this years competition, losing just one of their 10 games, W7 D2. They have only conceded 4 goals in the 10 matches and have kept clean sheets in 4 of their last 5 away games. However, when looking at their European away record it reads a fairly average W3 D3 L4.
Wolfsburg are enjoying a fantastic domestic season, sitting in 2nd place on 60 points, their 2-0 win over Hamburg at the weekend put them 19 points ahead of 5th place Schalke, securing them Champions League football next year. They are 10 points behind leaders Bayern Munich with 6 to play so are mathematically still in the title race but they will be happy with what they have achieved this season.
The Wolves’ domestic home record is exceptional, W13, D2, L0, only conceding 9 goals in the process. The only team to have beaten them at the Volkswagen Arena this season are Everton in the group stages of the UEL, losing 2-0 to the English side.
The home side are the value bet here. Wolfsburg have now won their last 10 matches in all competitions at home, winning 6 of their last 8 by 2 goals or more and are undefeated in 26. Napoli are struggling to find a win away from home, losing 3 and drawing 2 of their last 5.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Wolfsburg -0.5 @ 1.83
Prices correct at time of writing.
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