Betting Tips

Real Madrid v Napoli Betting Tip

It is surprising that this game is taking place at the Santiago Bernabeu first, given Real Madrid, the current European champions’ inability to win their group. But, in reality, that favours them.

Napoli are hugely potent in attack, but are less than strong at the back. If they were at home in the first leg, their attacking threat would be more of a problem for Los Blancos, because they would put more emphasis on taking the game to them. At the Stadio San Paolo, the crowd often make for a hostile atmosphere and that would make it harder for the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric to control the tempo of the game. Real lost the first leg of their quarter final against Wolfsburg last year because the German side took the early initiative that Napoli are not likely to have.

Both teams are rather similar, because they are much better going forward than they are in defence. The Italians do not play with a recognised striker up front, instead relying on Dries Mertens, a winger converted to playing a central role alongside Lorenzo Insigne and Emmanuele Giaccherini, as their main goal threat. The Real backline will have to be careful with this set up because it is what makes the Partenopei so good in attack. Each player can come deep into midfield, particularly affording Marek Hamsik the freedom to run into the space and attack, but they can also switch places with each other and run in behind.

Real’s best hope of controlling the game in both an attacking and defensive sense is to play Casemiro in midfield. While both Modric and Kroos sit deep to control the tempo, they rarely provide protection to that defence. In La Liga, such is their dominance in the division, Zidane is afforded the luxury of playing Isco further up the field, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, which the Welshman won’t be on this occasion. Lucas Vazquez stands by as a possible replacement.

But as mentioned before, Napoli are experts at hitting teams at the heart of the defence and that protection will be needed. If the Italians look to anyone for inspiration, it will be Hamsik. Real will be favourites but Napoli will find spaces and an away goal could really set up a firecracker in Naples.

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