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Napoli lauding it over Lazio ahead of Coppa Italia clash

| 04.03.2015

Under Rafa Benitez, Napoli have won all of their last four meetings with Lazio across all competitions, yet Coral make the Naples outfit 9/5 to win their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg fixture.

It seems strange that the Eagles start as 6/4 favourites to take a lead into the second leg when Napoli won 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico as recently as January. A repeat scoreline for Benitez’s boys is a 15/2 chance here, and was also the result when these two met in last term’s Coppa Italia, though in the quarters.

Lazio also look short given they have only earned one victory in nine against the Neapolitan team, while a rare draw is available at 11/5. The home defence has always failed to contain Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Saying Higuain loves scoring against the Eagles is a major understatement. He has struck seven times in four Napoli outings against them, netting at least once in every match. Higuain is a 6/1 shot for two goals or more in this match, and shorter at 6/5 in the anytime market.

Facing a Lazio defence that has conceded in both of their last two home games, the former Real Madrid frontman should be a scourge once again. Spain wideman Jose Callejon (15/8 anytime) will likely support Higuain, and has also netted for Benitez in this fixture before.

Napoli will not have it all their own way, however, as the Eagles have a number of names that can hurt them. Influential playmaker Antonio Candreva is a threat whether he operates centrally or out wide, and has netted on both of his last two starts for Lazio. He is a 15/8 anytime scorer chance, and 13/2 to grab the last goal.

Brazilian attacker Felipe Anderson (15/8 anytime), meanwhile, was on target last time out, as was the World Cup finals’ all-time top scorer Miroslav Klose. The veteran stager should relish a physical scrap with Raul Albiol, and is 9/2 to close the scoring.

Based on these Eagles outlets, and considering Higuain’s hot streak, backing Benitez’s boys to win with both teams being on target at 6/1 looks awesome value.

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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.