Napoli v Wolfsburg: Rafa's boys to finish Italian job in style

The excellent Gonzalo Higuain could help Napoli to another win against Wolfsburg
The excellent Gonzalo Higuain could help Napoli to another win against Wolfsburg
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Napoli stunned tournament favourites Wolfsburg last week with a 4-1 win in Germany, and our Bundesliga expert Kevin Hatchard can't see any way back for the Wolves in Naples...

"Napoli have won all five of their Europa League home games, and against a depleted and demoralised Wolfsburg, they should make it six."

Back Napoli to win at 2.35/4

Napoli v Wolfsburg
Thursday April 22, 20:05
Live on BT Sport 1

Wolfsburg chose the worst possible time to put in their most feeble display of the season last week, as Napoli ruthlessly punished every mistake they made. Although Gonzalo Higuain's opener in the 4-1 defeat had more than a hint of handball about it, there's no question that the better side on the night won.

The Wolves have had a terrific season, but they looked tired during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Schalke in the Bundesliga. Champions League qualification has been assured, and this Europa League tie now looks beyond their reach, so the German Cup (they play third-tier Arminia Bielefeld in the semis) has moved to the top of the priority list.

Napoli have responded strongly to biting criticism from club supremo Aurelio De Laurentiis, and have won their last three games in all competitions, scoring 10 goals in the process. As I alluded to in last week's preview, Partenopei boss Rafa Benitez is a master of the two-legged tie. He set his team up perfectly last week, pressuring Wolfsburg into costly errors.

In the previous round, Napoli won the first leg 4-0 at Trabzonspor, and then they shut things down at the San Paolo with a 1-0 home win. I'm expecting something similar this time around, so Under 2.5 Goals is certainly worth considering at 2.47/5.

The bet that stands out to me is the 2.35/4 on offer for the home win. Wolfsburg's recent away performances have been patchy, and they will be without attacking talisman Kevin De Bruyne because of a bruised foot. Andre Schurrle is also absent, so the oft-derided Nicklas Bendtner (who scored in the first leg) is set to start.

Napoli have won all five of their home games in the Europa League, and against a weakened and demoralised Wolfsburg, I'd expect them to make it six. It's also worth noting that Napoli are unbeaten in their last 11 European home games, winning nine of them.

Recommended Bet
Back Napoli to win at 2.35/4

2014/15 Europa League P/L (1 pt per bet)

Points Staked: 82

Points Returned: 82.69

P/L: +0.69 points

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