Thursday 18 April: 8pm
Live on BT Sport
Napoli have a major task on their hands as they host Arsenal in the second leg of this Europa League quarter-final. The Italian side conceded two first-half goals at the Emirates last week and now host Arsenal at home hoping to reach the last four.
You have to go back to the 2014/15 season for the last time Napoli reached the semi-finals of the Europa League. They will have to put on a great display if they are to repeat that feat after losing the first leg of this tie 2-0 at the Emirates. You can get odds of 11/1 (12.0) at Unibet on them winning the Europa League this season.
It’s been a frustrating season for the Italian team after running Juventus close for the 2017/18 Serie A title. This time around they are again second but a massive 17 points behind the league leaders. They began this season in the Champions League and came close to qualifying for the knock-out stages. In a group with Liverpool and PSG, they were unbeaten at home but their away form saw them finish third and sent to the Europa League.
Home form this season has been strong with only one league defeat and that was by Juventus. In European competition, the Italian side has seen four wins and a draw with only two goals scored. Only RB Leipzig have been able to beat Napoli away from home in the Europa League in their last 16 games. It’s 8/11 (1.72) at Betfair that they get the win over Arsenal but at BetVictor it’s 7/2 (4.5) that they qualify for the semi-finals.
Arsenal are battling on two different fronts to get back into the Champions League after a two-season absence. Their 1-0 win at Watford on Monday night took them into fourth place in the English Premier League. They are ahead of Chelsea on goal difference and with a game in hand. Arsenal are 1/2 (1.5) at Bet365 to finish in the top four this season.
If that fails though, there’s always winning the Europa League and the odds on them doing that are 5/2 (3.5) at William Hill. The Gunners came close last year before losing to eventual winners Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals. This time around, they have again played weakened line-ups but it was a stong side that faced Napoli in the first leg. A draw in Italy would be a perfect result for Arsenal and that’s 3/1 (4.0) at Betfred.
Arsenal took a 2-0 lead inside 25 minutes in the first leg. They’ll be disappointed no more goals were added but pleased to have kept a clean sheet against the Italians. The Gunners won their first three away games in the Europa League this season.
However, in the knock-out stages they lost on their travels to both BATE (1-0) and Rennes (3-1). In the Premier League, Arsenal have won one out of their last eight away games before Monday’s win at Watford and that needed a goalkeeping howler. It’s 7/2 (4.5) at SportPesa that they can win at Napoli but 1/5 (1.2) at SkyBet that they qualify.
Arsenal have won two of their previous three games against Napoli but both were home victories. The only previous away game against Napoli saw them lose 2-0 in the 2013/14 Champions League . There are odds of 2/5 (1.4) at Sportingbet that Arsenal score in this game.
No major injuries reported. Arsenal are likely to rotate their squad again for this match.
Napoli Clean Sheet?
Napoli have kept clean sheets in both of their Europa League home games this season. You can get odds of 2/1 (3.0) at Bet365 on them keeping a clean sheet on Thursday evening.
Early Goal Possible
The last three Arsenal games have each had a goal scored in the first 15 minutes of the game. Black Type will give you 9/5 (2.8) on the first goal in this game being scored between the start of the match and the 15th minute.
Napoli have a strong home record and their opponents have been inconsistent on the road in recent months. Both of Arsenal’s away games in the Europa League knock-out stages have ended in defeat. They’ll be keen to get on the scoresheet and grab that vital away goal. A bet on Napoli to win with both team scoring is 21/10 (3.2) at Paddy Power.