Wolfsburg won 2:0 away to Hamburg in the previous round of German Bundesliga, as the team start effectively at the first halftime, but didn’t threaten actually a lot. However, they still scored a goal, having even weaker opponent in the second halftime having much more of the ball possession and never being in trouble to concede the equalizer.
Without much pressure or risk, they reached the second goal, while the hosts ended playing with ten men in last couple of minutes. They were more than convincing for another match, even though the team had to face up with many problems when talking about their selection before the game. With this victory, they secured participation in Champions League for next season, but the also has highest possible ambitions in Europa League, as they continue to have almost a dream season. Defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo (26/1) was suspended during the weekend, but now comes back into the starting lineup. Long term absentee is offensive midfielder Aaron Hunt (14/3) and central defender Felipe who anyway didn’t play for the hosts this season.
Napoli have defeated Dynamo Moscow in the previous round of Europa League and exactly one month has passed since that 3:1 home victory over Russians and their next victory that came last weekend in a home game against Fiorentina 3:0. Between these two matches Napoli had five unsuccessful results, losing three out of last five matches.
Players and coach Rafa Benitez finally responded with a much better performance over Viola, but there is no doubt that the team has entered rather poor form in previous couple of months as they now have seven points less than third placed Lazio and will hardly get a ticket for Champions League next season, even though they were holding it for the most of the season. Coach Benitez has said in his interview that Wolfsburg is the worst possible opponent they could face at the moment, but added that the Cup games are always won in the second leg, not in the first one and that they only strive to have a positive result after the first leg. Left back Strinic is not listed for UEFA matches, while forward Michu remains sidelined with injury for more than few months. Defensive midfielder Walter Gargano (18/0) is also out injured.
Momentum is completely on the German side and everything except their victory would be a surprise here. They already managed to overcome Inter, while Napoli, with their current form, doesn’t seem to be much stronger than the previous opponent of Wolfsburg, especially not in their away matches where Napoli have scored only one goal in last five games.
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