Real Madrid v Napoli: Holders will gain narrow advantage

Can Real Madrid continue their fine season with a win over Napoli?
Can Real Madrid continue their fine season with a win over Napoli?
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The Champions League holders Real Madrid are in action against in-form Napoli and Dan Fitch expects a narrow home win...


"Real Madrid have conceded in six of their last seven games."

Back both teams to score at 1.674/6

Real Madrid v Napoli
Wednesday, 19:45
Live On BT Sport 3


Real Madrid

The Champions League holders let a two goal lead slip to draw with Borussia Dortmund in the final game in Group F. It was a result that saw Madrid finish second in the group and face one of the top seeds in the knockout stages.

Fortunately for Real, this season's group stage winners counted a number of teams who are unlikely to be competing for the trophy come May. One such team are Napoli and Madrid start as heavy favourites to dispense with the Italians.

The failure to win their group was a rare blip in a season in which Zinedine Zidane's side have been extremely consistent. They have only suffered two defeats all season, which both came within four days in January. Since then they are undefeated in four and lead Barcelona at the top of La Liga by a point, with the advantage of having two games in hand.

Cristiano Ronaldo sat out Real Madrid's training session on Monday, but is expected to be fit to face Napoli. The same is not true of Gareth Bale, who is likely to be out until March, despite returning to training this week.


Napoli

Facing Real Madrid at the Bernabeu is always a daunting prospect, but Maurizio Sarri's team should come into this match full of confidence having not lost since October.

Unbeaten in their last 18 matches, Napoli are having a great season. They won Group B despite tough competition from Benfica and Besiktas, are through to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and are currently third in Serie A. Though they are unlikely to topple the league leaders Juventus, a place in next season's Champions League looks assured.

Earlier this season an injury to their new signing Arkadiusz Milik robbed Napoli of their potency in front of goal, but this is no longer a problem. Dries Mertens has stepped up to the plate, scoring 20 goals in 28 appearances, having only scored 34 in his previous 138 games for the club.


Ref Watch

Damir Skomina will officiate. The Slovenian has refereed eight matches involving Real Madrid in the Champions League, of which they've won five, drawn two and lost one.


Match Odds

Real Madrid are the favourites at 1.584/7, with the draw at 4.77/2 and Napoli at 6.411/2.

Though you'd expect Madrid to be favourites, the price for them to win is not appealing when you consider the form that Napoli are currently in. The Italians are well capable of giving Real a tough game.

With that in mind, the draw half-time/Real Madrid full-time double result looks worth a punt at 4.94/1.


Over/Under 2.5 Goals

Over 2.5 goals is the favourite at 1.584/7, with unders at 2.588/5.

Madrid's last ten games have seen three goals or more, so the overs looks likely to land. They've also conceded in six of their last seven games, making Both Teams To Score a decent bet at 1.674/6.


To Score

It's no surprise to see Ronaldo as the favourite in this market at 1.738/11, but his colleague Karim Benzema is currently Real's top scorer in this competition with four goals. You can back the French striker to add to his tally at 2.26/5.

For Napoli, the in-form Mertens is 3.7511/4. Another option to consider is for Ronaldo to open the scoring. He did just that against Osasuna at the weekend and is 3.814/5 to do so again.


Recommended Bets

Back draw half-time/Real Madrid at 4.94/1
Back both teams to score at 1.674/6
Back Ronaldo to score first at 3.814/5


Dan Fitch 2016/17 Season P/L

Staked: 334 pts
Returned: 323.33 pts
P/L: -10.67 pts

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