Napoli vs Nice
2017/18 UEFA Champions League Play-off
Date: Wednesday, 16th August 2017
Kick-off at 19:45 UK/ 20:45 CET
Venue: Stadio San Paolo (Naples).
Napoli face a stern test in the play-off as their opponents from France can surprise anyone on their day. On top of this, Nice will be a team in confidence after knocking out last year’s Europa League finalists Ajax out of the competition.
Napoli are eyeing for consecutive Champions League appearance. Last term, they had a decent run at the tournament and made it to the round of 16 before being knocked out by Real Madrid.
However, the Italians failed to make it through in their only previous appearance at the play-off. It was Spanish side Atletico Bilbao who defeated them back in 2014/15.
Napoli are coming on the back of a decent pre-season. They defeated Bayern Munich and Espanyol and drew against Bournemouth in the recent outings. Having played 8 warm-up games, the team will be in top fitness.
This is the first Champions League campaign and they started off in some style by defeating Ajax on away goal rule. The home leg was a 1-1 draw which was bettered in Amsterdam with a 2-2 stalemate.
Nice have a short history at UEFA competitions. They returned to Europe for the first time in 15 years in 2013/14 season. They lost the qualifier to Apollon from Cyprus on that occasion. They finally made it to the Europa League last season, direct qualification after finishing fourth in the Ligue 1.
Napoli vs Nice: Head-to-head
This is the first competitive meeting between the two teams.
They did met in friendly games in 2015 and 2016, the teams share a home win each.
Napoli’s record against Ligue 1 sides at UEFA is 4 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses from 8 games.
Nice are meeting an Italian side for the first time.
Napoli vs Nice: Prediction
Nice are in poor shape after losing back-to-back games in Ligue 1. They need to lift their game considerably when coming up against a free scoring home team like Napoli. As things stand, I can’t see any other result than a convincing home win on Wednesday night.
Napoli vs Nice: Bet Tips
HT/FT – Napoli/Napoli for 1.91 @ Bet365.
Over 2.5 goals for 1.70 @ Unibet.