Rafa Benitez’s Napoli can overtake third place rivals Lazio
Rafa Benitez brings his Napoli boys to Rome hoping to leapfrog Lazio and snatch third spot in Serie A, and recent head-to-heads suggest the Neapolitan outfit hold the edge.
The Stadio San Paolo side are a nifty 9/5 with Coral to take all three points, which is great value considering Napoli have not lost to Lazio since 2012, a dominant run stretching across five matches.
Benitez’s team put nine past the Italian capital club in three battles last campaign, including two 4-2 triumphs, which makes them a sensational 16/1 to score four or more again.
Top poacher Gonzalo Higuain has grabbed nine Serie A goals so far this season, and has proven to be a thorn in the Eagles’ side, hitting a hat-trick the last time these two teams met and six against them in total last term.
Back the former Real Madrid hitman at 11/2 to draw first blood, or 8/1 to bag a brace or better again, whilst top assistant and skipper Marek Hamsik is available at 11/4 to hit home anytime.
Another ex-Los Blancos star, Jose Callejon, has netted nine times in 18 Serie A outings, so is also more than capable of grabbing a goal, and is 7/4 in the same market.
In what will be a boost to Lazio, Napoli have, however, won just two of their past six league away games, drawing three.
The Eagles, meanwhile, have been flying high at home, emerging from five out of their last six outings at the Stadio Olympico.
Stefano Pioli’s side are favourites to triumph on their own turf at 6/4, with a draw available at 9/4.
Lazio are expected to field a largely unchanged side to that which earned a point against capital rivals Roma last time out, but midfield starlet Felipe Anderson is expected to be sidelined with a knee injury, whilst stopper Federico Marchetti is suspended.
Without their first-choice custodian, the Eagles will need to be expansive, so expect goals galore as both the hosts and their visitors have bagged 33 so far in Serie A. Back these two talented teams at 14/1 both to score in each half.
Serbia striker Filip Djordjevic has been on target eight times across all competitions this campaign and is Lazio’s best chance of breaching Benitez’s backline. At 6/4 to net anytime, dangerous Djordjevic is certainly worth a punt, as is formidable Miroslav Klose, who is 11/2 to score last.