Having recorded two draws in a row across all competitions and slipped down to third in the Serie A standings, behind Juventus and Inter Milan, Napoli will be looking to get three points on the board when it hosts Empoli in Serie A on Friday night. Empoli, for its part, is stuck in the relegation zone, without a win since the Sportsbook day of the season and with just six points following 10 rounds of league action.
Empoli looks set to struggle against high-flying Napoli
In short, Friday night could be a long one for Aurelio Andreazzoli and his Empoli side. The Azzurri are currently on a 10-match winless streak and that dismal run of form does not look likely to improve at the San Paolo – last time out, they took the lead against table toppers Juventus, only to be pegged back by a Cristiano Ronaldo brace and lose the game 2-1.
Napoli, meanwhile, has drawn its last two matches – 1-1 with Roma in Serie A and 2-2 with PSG in the UEFA Champions League – but will be confident of taking all three points here. They had won their three matches prior to those two stalemates and a victory here is imperative if they are to hang on to Juventus’ coattails.
And it is indeed Napoli that comes in as the clear favorite to take all three points on Friday night. You can back the home side to wrap up victory at just -400, while Empoli is all the way out at +1000 to pick up its first win since August. A draw is priced in the middle at +500.
A comfortable evening expected for Napoli
Napoli’s encouraging recent record has been aided in no small part by a steadfast defence. The goal it conceded against AS Roma last time out was the only one conceded in its last five home matches and we are expecting another clean sheet against an Empoli side that is currently averaging just 0.9 goals per game – that is relegation form in anyone’s book.
While it is never easy trying to predict the exact scoreline of any game, a comfortable 3-0 win for Napoli is priced at +650 and, given the recent form of both teams, looks well worth backing. That in turn would allow you to back OVER 2.5 goals in the game, which comes in at just -188, and a “No” to both teams scoring, which is also short at -134.
In circumstances such as these, combo betting can help you increase any potential winnings – backing more than one outcome at increased odds. For example, a Napoli win and a “No” to both teams scoring is priced at +100, while a Napoli victory and UNDER 3.5 goals in the game is at the slightly higher price of +110.
Napoli likely to dominate throughout
It is indeed difficult to envisage Empoli walking away from this encounter with anything in the bag, and we are expecting the home side to control proceedings from the very first whistle. You can therefore back OVER 0.5 goals in the first 10 minutes at +275, while Napoli is at +400 to be ahead by the end of that time period.
Meanwhile, the home side is at shorter odds to win this game to nil (without Empoli scoring a goal), which they are at +100 to accomplish. Odds are shorter on Napoli scoring in both halves (-125) while Carlo Ancelotti’s side is at +150 to actually win both halves.
Empoli may have given Juventus a scare last time out, but that was with a vociferous home support behind them. This time they will be in the lion’s den, and the teams that emerge from the San Paolo unscathed are few and far between – expect Napoli to win this match with relative ease to keep up the pressure on both Juventus and Inter Milan.