Europa League: Can Die Wolfe reverse dramatic loss at Napoli?
Wolfsburg (2/1 with Coral to win over 90 minutes) make their way to Stadio San Paolo to pit their wits against Napoli, without excellent attacking midfield pair Kevin de Bruyne and Andre Schurrle.
The dangerous duo’s absence through injury makes Die Wolfe’s task of overturning a 4-1 quarter-final first leg loss that much more difficult, but the German club are still 20/1 outside shouts to qualify for the semis.
Dieter Hecking will be relying on dangerous Dutch striker Bas Dost to breach Napoli’s backline, as the fearsome forward has 16 strikes across all competitions, but has failed to find the net since March. With the pressure on, he must step up, and is 9/2 to net first, or 6/4 to be on target anytime.
Midfield threat and academy graduate Maximilian Arnold is a fantastic 13/5 in the same market, while mercurial ex-Arsenal frontman Nicklas Bendtner bagged the consolation goal in the reverse and is 7/1 to strike last again.
Wolfsburg have lost just once on the road in Europe this campaign, so are 5/2 to at least achieve a draw and restore the pride that was rocked at the Volkswagen Arena.
Napoli, meanwhile, must be careful not to take their foot off the pedal, as Die Wolfe are dangerous when in full flight.
The Bundesliga club must score four without conceding to definitely progress, and are a generous 14/1 to net that many or more, although that seems a tough task against Rafa Benitez’s boys, who have not leaked more than three at any time this term.
Neapolitan team Napoli may have a crucial cushion of four away goals, but are still taking this tussle seriously and, as they are unbeaten at home in Europe this season, are 5/4 to do the double over Die Wolfe.
Famed cup coach, and two-time winner of this competition, Benitez told press ahead of the duel that: “Wolfsburg are a very good team. We have to do what we did in the first leg. We have to score goals, so it will be easier to handle the game. We have so much respect for them, they’re strong in every area.”
With this in mind, the Southern Italian side are a 3/1 punt to hit three or more again and thrill local fans. As second highest scorer in the Europa League, Gonzalo Higuain could snatch top spot if he is not rested for this clash.
The prolific Argentina attacker is 9/2 to fire the first shot for his side, while skipper Market Hamsik bagged a brace in the reverse and is 10/1 to score two or more again. Should the potent pair both take a break for this battle, however, the goal burden could fall to Manolo Gabbiadini (7/1 to close the scoring) and Jose Callejon (2/1 in the anytime market).