Can Napoli thwart PSG onslaught?
Last updated: October 24, 2018 by Leon Marshal
|Venue:||Parc des Princes|
|Last Meeting:||Napoli 1 – 2 PSG|
|Competition:||UEFA Champions League|
Paris Saint Germain host Napoli at the Parc des Princes in a battle of dominance for the UEFA Champions’ League Group C. Napoli who were considered the underdogs of the group, are now surprisingly leading after a prodigious win against Liverpool. This match could well prove pivotal in deciding a group that also contains Liverpool.
The French giants will fancy their chances against the Italian outfit, staring their free-scoring attacking trio of the world’s most expensive player Neymar, World Cup young player of the tournament Kylian Mbappe and the versatile Edison Cavani who are all serious goal threats.
Paris Saint Germain have started their season on a high with straight wins in all competitions, except for a defeat at Anfield in the first match of the tournament. The opening fixture was a great treat of fantasy football as the two best-attacking trios in the world, Liverpool’s Salah, Mane, and Firmino took on PSG’s Mbappe, Neymar, and Cavani. The match was a classic encounter with five goals, loads of drama, individual brilliance, skills, and top class football on display. The score line was delicately balanced at 2-2 when Firmino came off the bench to score a late winner to give the Merseysiders a 3 – 2 win in front of their home crowd.
The French outfit made amends in their second fixture, hammering Red Star Belgrade 6 – 1 at home to keep them in the hunt for top spot. Neymar scored a hat trick including two goals from free kicks with Edison Cavani, Mbappe, and Di Maria also on the score sheet. They have a perfect record in their domestic league with an eight-point lead after just 10 games, allowing them the luxury to concentrate on this competition. Despite all the talent on display at PSG, they have never won either of the two top European competitions. The only UEFA recognised trophies they have are UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1996 and UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2001.
Napoli stand out as one of the surprise teams in the UEFA Champions League so far. Despite their low transfer budget and the departure of their revolutionary manager Maurizio Sarri to English side Chelsea, they are a proving a real headache for high flying Juventus in Serie A. They sit second in the table and now have extended their arm of stubbornness to the UEFA Champions League Group C. The new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has redefined the side and lifted their belief with remarkable results so far.
When they were drawn into the group they were termed underdogs with many expecting the group to be a two horse race between last year’s finalists, Liverpool and the French Champions. The Italian outfit, however, stormed to the top of the group when they outclassed and beat Liverpool 1 – 0 in a match that they dominated for the entire 90 minutes. Napoli achieved what few have managed this season and kept Liverpool’s lethal attacking force quiet. Insigne scored the only goal in the match. It was far from a fluky performance, and they were the much better side. Their biggest setback was failing to score against Serbian side Fk Crvena Zvezda (Red Star Belgrade). They may well rue that result as this has the potential to be one of the closest groups in the competition.
PSG have dropped points just once this season, winning eleven out of the twelve matches, scoring a total of 45 goals and conceding just 10 so far this season.
Neymar scored two free kick to complete a hat trick against FK Crvena Zvezda to open his European tally, while Mbappe has two goals in the competition.
Napoli lead Group C with four points and one goal scored in the competition, with Liverpool and PSG following closely with three points.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side came to this fixture on a three match consecutive winning run without conceding a goal. They will hope they can keep up the impressive record and keep a clean sheet in the Parc des Princes.
|PSG (4-3-3):||Areola, Meunier, Silva, Marquinhos, Bernat, Rabiot, Verratti, Di Maria, Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar|
|Subs:||Cibois, Kehrer, Kimpembe, Choupo-Moting, Draxler, Diaby, N’soki, Weah|
|Injured:||Alves, Nkunku, Dagba|
|Not available:||Buffon (suspended)|
|Napoli (4-4-2):||Ospina, Hysaj, Albioli, Koulibaly, Rui, Rog, Allan, Hamsik, Zielinski, Mertens, Insigne|
|Subs:||Karnezis, D’Andrea, Fabian, Luperto, Maksimovic, Callejon, Milik, Diawara, Verdi|
|Injured:||Ghoulam, Younes, Chirches|
So Far This Season
|PSG This Season||Napoli This Season|
|1 (0)||Wins (away)||1 (0)|
|6 – 1 v Red Star Belgrade||Biggest Win||1 – 0 v Liverpool|
|0 (0)||Draws (away)||1 (1)|
|2 – 3 v Liverpool||Biggest Defeat||—|
|Neymar (3)||Top Goal Scorer||Insigne (1)|
|Y1, R0||Discipline||Y5, R0|
|0||Failures to Score||1|
|100%||Both Teams to Score Games||0%|
|100%||Over 2.5 Goals||0%|
|0%||Under 2.5 Goals||100%|
- PSG have a great scoring record with eight goals already, Neymar is the top scorer with three goals while Mbappe has two goals. Napoli have just scored one goal by Insigne.
- Napoli are yet to concede a goal contrary to PSG who are yet to keep a clean sheet in the tournament.
- The two have met just once in a friendly where PSG made a remarkable comeback to win the match 2 – 1 after Napoli scored first.
- The stakes for the game are high as the winner of this encounter gets a priceless lead of the group ahead of the second clash between the two sides when the Frenchmen travel to Italy.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|11/08/2014||Club Friendly||Napoli 1 – 2 PSG||Higuaín 51’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
This match promises to be a battle between the unstoppable force meeting an immovable object and the answer to that irresistible force paradox question, could well depend on the performance of Neymar and Mbappe. Both have the talent and ability to win games on their own. While thinking about that duo it’s easy to forget about Edinson Cavani. The 31-year-old is in fine form with 15 goals in 25 appearances this season in all competitions.
Napoli are defensively astute and are unlikely to show the same attacking intent as their opponents, but you do question if they can maintain 100 percent concentration for an entire 90 minutes.
With this in mind we are tempted with a PSG win, with Napoli failing to score at 7/4 as the safe bet. A winning margin of 3 is also tempting at 5/1. You can get a £20 free bet with a £20 deposit at Royal Panda.