Napoli to end Arsenal’s Champions League hopes tonight?
This evening’s top of the table clash in Group F of the Champions League sees Arsenal top the group by three points ahead of Napoli and Borussia Dortmund but they could still find themselves playing in the Europa League in the new year. The Gunners need just a single point to ensure they are in the pot for the last 16 draw but that will see Napoli relegated to playing Thursday night football should Dortmund claim all three points against bottom of the group Marseille, who are still looking to claim their first point in the group stage.
What do GR88.com feel about this evening’s Napoli v Arsenal clash? Their betting odds suggest a close game with Napoli just favoured to take all three points, but with it being so close the game could swing either way and I feel that despite being the slight outsiders these odds favour Arsenal to claim at least the single point they need this evening.
Napoli to win – 2.42
Draw – 3.30
Arsenal to win – 2.72
(Odds provided by GR88.com are current as of today but subject to change.)
Napoli have won three and lost two of their five Champions League matches so far with Arsenal defeating them at the Emirates at the start of October and their last game seeing an away defeat at Dortmund. They were beaten by two goals in both of those matches, but they have claimed single goal victories over Dortmund and Marseille in front of their own fans with 2-1 and 3-2 wins. This scoring plenty and conceding too many goals pattern has been a thorn in the side of Rafael Benitez and Napoli this season with them having conceded 13 goals in their last five matches home and away. Should Dortmund take all three points against Marseille Napoli will need to beat Arsenal by at least three goals if they are to overtake them at the top of the group and ensure their place in the knockout stages of the competition. The big question that hangs over the heads of the Italians is can they spot their leaking of goals to ensure they give themselves the best chance of a minimum three goal victory this evening?
Even if Napoli do somehow manage to stem the tide of goals against them lately they will face a tough task at the other end of the pitch too as Arsenal have been pretty impressive defensively this season. They have conceded just one goal in their last five matches and just two in eight games in both Premier and Champions Leagues, while Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey are both finding the net and creating enough goals to push the North Londoners to six wins and a draw in their last eight matches. Their confidence is sky high and with just a point needed I expect Arsenal to employ a conservative strategy in Italy this evening to see them progress.
Despite this slightly negative style of play from the visitors I fully expect them to take all three points back to the Emirates Stadium this evening as they possess the ability to keep Napoli at bay with their stoic backline and to grasp any opportunities provided by a leaky Napoli defence. Arsenal did just this in the smash and grab win in Germany over Borussia Dortmund that has put them in this position of power at the top of the group and I am backing the Gunners to do the same again this evening and win this Napoli v Arsenal clash.
My best bet for Napoli v Arsenal is back the away win @ 2.76 with GR88.com.