Napoli v Manchester City Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
October 30, 2017
Stadio San Paolo - Champions League
Napoli welcome Manchester City to Italy on Wednesday night, hoping to avenge their 2-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium a fortnight ago.
Manchester City's 2-1 win over Napoli two weeks ago was the first time the Italians had lost to Pep Guardiola's side in Champions League history.
The two teams faced each other in the 2011-12 version of the competition, winning 2-1 in Italy courtesy of an Edison Cavani double and drawing 1-1 in Manchester, with the Uruguayan again on the score sheet.
Pep Guardiola will be relieved that his injury list is beginning to decrease, having an almost fully fit squad to pick from as his charges head to Naples. The only absentees for the former Barcelona boss are defensive duo Bernard Mendy and Vincent Kommpany, who are recovering from knee and calf injuries - with Kompany expected back in action in three weeks.
Their absence means a sustained run in defence for Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph, alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker.
Argentine international Sergio Aguero could be set for a return to the starting line up after sitting out the weekend win over West Brom, as he continues his comeback from a rib injury.
Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri rested a number of key players for the weekend win over Sassuolo, with Christian Maggio, Kalidou Koulibaly and Piotr Zielinski all set for a return to the starting line up. Striker Arkadiusz Milik is out of action with a knee injury, but Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon are both fit to start.
Napoli v Manchester City Preview and Predictions
City have knocked down virtually every challenge that has face them so far this season, playing free flowing football and scoring plenty of goals along the way. Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne have all been in excellent form, and they were simply too much for Napoli in Manchester a fortnight ago - with Jesus and Raheem Sterling both on the score sheet that night.
Napoli recovered from that defeat to win against Genoa and Sassuolo in Serie A, and they will welcome the Premier League leaders with a renewed confidence on Wednesday night.
Despite City's performance at the Etihad, Guardiola will be mindful that Napoli are a different beast at home - undefeated since March 2017 on home soil - and this may have a bearing on City's approach.
The visitors still have the potential to cause real problems, but Napoli will be determined not to lose - as it could spell the end of their Champions League campaign - and a draw could suit both sides, priced at 14/5.
Napoli also tend to keep things very tight at home, conceding just two goals in their last five home games in all competitions, and they will be no pushover for City, and an under 2.5 goals bet could be good value - priced at 7/4.
A 1-1 draw at 13/2
Both sides have plenty of attacking talent on display, but with Napoli aware that a defeat could end their Champions League journey for this season and with City having one eye on their game at home to Arsenal on Sunday both sides may be comfortable with a point. The Italians defensive structure will be a real tough nut for City's attackers to crack, and they will not have it as easy as they have had it in the Premier League so far this season.
Dries Mertens to score first at 7/2
Belgian striker Mertens is the key man in attack for Napoli, and despite missing a penalty at the Etihad two weeks ago, he is still full of confidence in front of goal. Following that miss he has netted three goals in three games and he will be very keen to atone for his spot kick miss in round two on Wednesday night.