Union have lost 12 in a row
Napoli won reverse fixture 1-0
Napoli v Union Berlin
Wednesday 08 November, 17:45
Live on TNT Sports
In Portugal last night we were right to back Porto to win and Mehdi Taremi to have a shot on target, but we fell short on the corner count. A tough one to take, and to make matters worse Pepe became the oldest ever Champions League scorer at 41, a crushing blow when I realised he's still three years younger than me.
The Champions League is still our beat, and we'll head to southern Italy, because Napoli are up against Union Berlin, and the visitors are struggling badly.
Union have now lost 12 straight competitive games, their first real crisis since Urs Fischer took charge. Just a few years ago, Union were in the second tier of German football, and Fischer has now taken the capital club into European competition in three straight seasons, so the Swiss coach has plenty of credit in the bank.
The Champions League campaign has been a litany of near-misses and hard luck stories. Union conceded a last-gasp winner at Real Madrid, as the irrepressible Jude Bellingham snatched the points. They then blew a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at home to Braga, and then were edged out 1-0 by Napoli at the Olympiastadion.
In the Bundesliga, Union have sunk into the relegation zone after an eight-game losing streak, and after the weekend's 3-0 home defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt, Germany defender Robin Gosens admitted the confidence levels are on the floor. Union have now leaked 26 goals across their last 12 games, and they haven't scored in their last five.
Napoli's title defence has wobbled under new coach Rudi Garcia, and the Partenopei are seven points adrift of the leaders Inter, who have looked streets ahead. An injury to Victor Osimhen hasn't helped, but Napoli are well placed in the Champions League after claiming six points from three matches.
With Osimhen sidelined, Georgian wing wizard Kvicha Kvaratskhelia has had to take on a more prominent role. "Kvaradona" has delivered three goals and three assists in the league, and has set up a further goal in the Champions League.
I don't think Union will necessarily get hammered here, but they are struggling to do the basics at the moment, and although Napoli have lost some of their sparkle, they should have too much quality here, with Matteo Politano and Giacomo Raspadori also catching the eye recently.
I'll back Napoli to win, Kvaratskhelia to have a shot on target and Over 2.5 Cards on the Bet Builder at 2.0421/20. There were four cards in the reverse fixture, six in Union's clash with Braga and in the Bundesliga they have already had 13 yellow cards and three reds. In Serie A, Napoli have picked up 19 yellow cards and a red.