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Napoli v Leicester City – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Napoli host Leicester at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Thursday in the Europea League. Partenopei has lost just one of their last 19 home Serie A matches and will count on their fans to help them get the win they need to progress. Leicester needs a point to qualify but only a win secures them the lucrative top spot. These sides drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture.

Napoli host Leicester at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Thursday in the Europea League. Partenopei has lost just one of their last 19 home Serie A matches and will count on their fans to help them get the win they need to progress. Leicester needs a point to qualify but only a win secures them the lucrative top spot. These sides drew 2-2 in the reverse fixture.

Napoli Form

Napoli sits just two points off AC Milan in Serie A but has suffered a major dip in results of late. Having won 10 of their first 11 league matches, their last five matches have seen two defeats and two draws. Those results included losing 3-2 at Inter Milan and 3-2 at home to Atalanta in their most recent match, whilst an earlier 1-1 home draw with Verona was a disappointment.

The Partenopei began the Europa League this term with a 2-2 draw at Leicester and a 3-2 home loss to Spartak Moscow. They responded to beat Legia Warsaw home (3-0) and away (4-1) but lost theirs on matchday 5. With just a couple of players missing, they were beaten 2-1 at Spartak Moscow. The match was sandwiched by clashes against Inter and Lazio so Luciano Spalletti’s side was not completely focused.

Napoli Team News

Napoli is hit by numerous key injuries for this match. Key striker Victor Osimhen and top center-back Kalidou Koulibaly are absent. Lorenzo Insigne, Frank Anguissa, and Fabian Ruiz all missed the Atalanta defeat and are doubtful.

Koulibaly’s center-back partner Konstantinos Manolas has missed a couple of recent matches and may not be able to return. The final injury concern is over midfielder Stanislav Lobotka who left the pitch with a problem against Atalanta and misses out.

Napoli Motivation

Napoli is formidable at home and will be hugely motivated to win this match. They can finish anywhere between first and fourth in the group defending on this result. A draw would see them play in the Europa Conference League at best. To progress to the next round they have to win.

They face Empoli at home on Sunday which should not prove a distraction from this crucial match.

Leicester Form

Leicester sits 11th in the Premier League after six losses in 15 matches lost already. Their last six matches have brought just a single win and three defeats as Brendan Rodgers struggles to arrest their defensive problems. After a 3-0 home loss to Chelsea, they beat Watford 4-2. They twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Southampton before losing 2-1 at Aston Villa.

With just one point after two Europa League matches, they’ve picked up with a 4-3 win at Spartak Moscow as Patson Daka netted all four goals. A 1-1 home draw with Spartak Moscow followed before a 3-1 home win against Legia Warsaw.

Leicester Team News

Rodgers is still without Wesley Fofana in defence. James Justin is closing in on a return but this match could come too soon to feature for any minutes. Ricardo Pereira is also absent so options at the back are limited somewhat.

Kasper Schmeichel took a knock to the hand in the last match and is a doubt but Youri Tielemans is back in training and could play in midfield. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall started against Aston Villa and may earn another start in midfield. Patson Daka’s form in the Europa League should mean he keeps his place after starting at Villa, with Jamie Vardy on the bench.

Leicester Motivation

Leicester knows a win will guarantee them the top spot in the group whilst a defeat will only see them qualify if Spartak Moscow draws their match. A draw will see them qualify due to their superior head-to-head record against both Spartak and Legia Warsaw.

The Newcastle home match over the weekend won’t distract the side. Progressing in the Europa League and ideally taking the top spot – to avoid a match against a side dropping out of the Champions League in the next round – is their sole focus.

Key Stats

Napoli have lost just 1 of their last 19 home Serie A matches

Napoli have lost 3 of their last 7 home Europa League matches

Napoli have scored 34 goals in 16 Serie A matches

Leicester have lost 3 of their last 8 matches (all comps)

LCFC have lost 2 of their last 4 away Europa League matches

Leicester have conceded in all 10 of their away PL and UL matches this season

Verdict

Napoli may have lost at home this weekend to Atalanta without several key starters but they are formidable on their turf. Leicester is in poor form and is leaking goals at an alarming rate.

Best Bet: Napoli win at 2.15
Alternative Bet: Napoli win/draw double chance + over 2.5 goals at 2.50
Value Bet: Napoli win and both teams to score at 3.95

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James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter: https://twitter.com/footy_analysis

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