In-form Wolfsburg host faltering Napoli in Europa League encounter
Wolfsburg are set to welcome Napoli to the Volkswagen Arena for their mouth-watering Europa League quarter-final clash, with both sides hoping to secure silverware success this season.
Dieter Hecking’s high-flying hosts have enjoyed a supremely successful campaign, starring in Europe and battling to second place in the Bundesliga table. Die Wolfe come into this European meeting with Rafael Benitez’s Little Donkeys in the superior run of form, with Napoli a 7/2 chance with Coral to triumph.
Hecking’s men, odds-on 8/11 favourites, are on a run of seven games unbeaten in all competitions and have incredibly won their last 10 games on home soil, while they have avoided defeat in this competition since a 2-0 loss to Everton last November.
Wolfsburg’s determined boss Hecking will guide his team out for their first of five games in 14 days, with Gli Azzurri the immediate challenge in what will be a tough European and domestic run-in.
“We’re concentrating on our future engagements, the crossroads of the season,” said Hecking.
“The next five matches are the most beautiful and exciting of the season. We can not stop, we have to look forward every game. At the end of the season we’ll see where we are.”
The Bundesliga battlers may see this as a great time to contest Bentiez’s Serie A strugglers, with the visitors having secured victory in just one of their last six fixtures in all competitions, including a run of five matches without a win on their travels.
Although, the Italian league outfit overcame their recent domestic decline to crucially topple top four rivals Fiorentina 3-0 at the Stadio San Paolo, ending a dismal run of form on time for their European encounter.
Former Liverpool manager Bentiez is vying to become the first coach ever to win this competition with three different clubs, having done so with Valencia and Chelsea. The experienced boss has been linked with replacing Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City, and his side are 13/2 to win and both teams to score.
The Spaniard will have to lead his team out without Walter Gargano, who remains sidelined with a thigh problem, while Wolfsburg are missing Aaron Hunt though a knee injury.
Prolific playmaker Kevin De Bruyne has been sensational for the hosts since his switch from Stamford Bridge last summer, and he is 11/2 to open proceedings, after slotting home 16 goals already this term.
Meanwhile, Napoli will be hoping in-form forward Gonzalo Higuain can continue his rampant run in front of goal, having netted an impressive 23 times this term. The astute Argentine attacker is 10/1 to bag a brace or more in his latest outing.
This will be the first time these two sides have ever met in a competitive fixture, with the German outfit odds-on 8/11 to seal qualification over two legs and the Italian side 11/10 to progress.