The Serie-A match between Empoli and Napoli
There is expectation of goals in this game, between Serie A’s (SA) second-worst defence (Empoli) with 55 goals conceded, and the third-best attack in (Napoli) with 56 goals scored after 29 matches played.
The host have failed to get a win against today's visitors in 5 SA games (D1, L4), conceding an average of 3.4 goals, and are in bad form leading up to today's game (W2, D3, L5).
Napoli have failed to win in 5 of their last 10 league matches (W5, D4, L1), but Empoli can not take comfort in that record, because Napoli have averaged 2.8 goals over their last five SA games (W3, D1, L1) including a 4-1 thrashing of Roma last weekend. Also to put more light on the high quality of the play from Napoli that enabled them maintain their league performance, and highlight the resilience of the players of the Napoli team.
Lets note the matches for Napoli have come fast in sequence and packed with stress of travels and limited preparation time for matches as they incessantly moved within and outside Italy for league matches and fixtures against Champions league opponents (3/4 days before and after league fixtures), while their opponents in the league rested (Exception for match against Juventus).
In today's fixture, Empoli are playing a Napoli side that is better rested, and need to pick up all 3 points from today's fixture to remain in possible contention for the league title race against Juventus. I believe that Napoli is still giving that race a fight as we saw them perform brilliantly last week, winning 4 - 1 away against Roma which is a better placed team.
The host will play as a team in a true relegation dogfight, especially as they are unbeaten in 4 of 5 outings here (W2, D2, L1), and scored in all 5 recent home fixtures.
Napoli have dropped points in four of their last six SA road trips (W2, D3, L1), failing to score in three, but they have been impressive travellers against the bottom-half sides, with only Sassuolo managing to snatch points this SA season (W4, D1).
I expect a goal from Empoli, but I also expect Napoli to goal ahead and win this one.
My prediction is Away & Ov 2.5
Empoli vs Napoli betting tips
Away & Ov 2.5 (Stake: 8)Odds: 2.14 at Bet365
Result: 2-1 LOST (-8 units)