Napoli vs Empoli
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Stadio San Paolo (Napoli).
Having put a stop to a troubling downward spiral, Napoli will look to re-assert themselves at home against Empoli this Wednesday.
The Partenopei had lost their last two games before facing last-placed Crotone this past weekend. Although they won that match, it was far from a convincing performance by Maurizio Sarri’s side, who had to play with ten men for much of the match following Manolo Gabbiadini’s red card. Had they been facing a tougher opponent, Napoli could be coming into this match having lost three on the trot.
Their last game at the Stadio San Paolo was an utter disaster as they were defeated 3-1 by Roma. That was then followed up by a loss to Besiktas in Champions League action. Had they won that game, they would have had pretty much one foot into the round 16, and now will have to try to wrap things up when European football resumes next month.
Napoli presently find themselves sitting in fourth spot after both Milan and Roma won their respective fixtures. They will naturally want to keep up pressure on those two and make sure that Juventus, who are four points ahead heading into matchday 10, do not pull too far away in the battle for the Scudetto.
They will have a perfect chance to get back on track against Empoli. It’s shocking that this is the same Azzurri side who put on some solid displays last term, as they are already shaping up to be a relegation candidate. Two goals scored in nine games is utterly abysmal and although they did earn a point against Chievo, their failure to find the back of the net will cost them dearly.
In fact, Empoli have the worst attack so far in the league. Even Crotone, who has just one point to their name, has scored seven, and the team’s utterly embarrassing profligacy surely must be maddening to their increasingly growing frustrated coach and fans. Unfortunately for the visitors, that dismal run does not look set to end anytime soon as they will face a Napoli side eager to make amends after seeing their unbeaten home run come to an end a few weeks ago.
Napoli vs Empoli: Head-to-head statistics
- Napoli lost 3-1 to Roma in their last home game, which was their first home defeat in 23 games.
- Empoli have failed to win their last 13 away games.
- The Azzurri also have scored just twice all season and have yet to score on the road.
- The Partenopei have netted eight times in their last trio of home games against Empoli, including a 5-1 drubbing this past January.
- Napoli have lost just one out of their 20 home games against teams ranked lower than them in the table (17 wins, two draws).
- Empoli have won only one out of their last 20 road games against higher-ranked sides (five draws, 14 losses).
Napoli vs Empoli: Prediction
Empoli’s goal obviously at this point is sheer survival. The Azzurri aren’t scoring, but a point is a point, and they will continue to try to grind out as many goalless draws as necessary to keep working their way up the table. Meanwhile, Napoli were far from comfortable against Crotone, but they got the job done. The absence of Arkadiusz Milik has really affected them, and with Gabbiadini now suspended for two games, Sarri’s attacking options are that much more limited.
Napoli will next take on Juventus, so the Partenopei will want to make sure they’re up and running for that. Empoli will park the bus, to say the least, as their attack is not doing them any favours, but Napoli should have no problems earning a win here and moving on to prepare for their blockbuster clash against the Bianconeri this weekend. Empoli’s disappointing attack could also equal a clean sheet for the hosts.
Napoli vs Empoli: Betting Tips
Both teams to score – NO at 4/6 (1.67)
Over 2.5 goals at 3/5 (1.60).