Napoli didn’t start well in the Serie A, having only two points after three rounds and not that difficult opponents, but now have a great chance to recover some faith from their fans and get a convincing victory at the start of Europa League. Italians are together with Club Brugge, Legia and Midtjylland in the group D and no doubt that they are big favorites not only to clinch the progress to the knock-out stage, but also to get the first position after six rounds played. Their biggest ambitions do stand with the domestic league, but also the team wants to make a step further in the knock-out stage and can only benefit in case of winning this title this season.
They surprisingly lost in the season opener against Sassuolo 2:1 away from home, despite having an early lead with a goal from Hamsik. It was expected that the team bounced back with much better performance against Sampdoria at home, but once again, after a good start and double lead with two goals from Higuain in the first halftime, their game-play fall apart in the second half, have conceded two goals within two minutes and couldn’t get back on the track later on. In the most recent match, they only took a point away to Empoli in a 2:2 draw, being slightly better side but still with many defensive gaps in the last lineup. Insigne and Allan were goalscorers, while the hosts scored two inside first eighteen minutes, with the final 2:2 result standing from 50th minute on, with players of Napoli being unable to completely overturn the match in their favor. Obviously the team needs more time in order to start playing better, especially in the defensive lineup, while the offensive part of the tam can’t be considered as a weak part, with already five goals scored after three rounds. Right full back Camilo Zuniga, central defender Henrique and winger Jonathan de Guzman are not in the lineup for this game. Mirko Valdifiori defensive midfielder got injured in the previous game and won’t play here.
Club Brugge, on the other side, didn’t manage to make their way to the Champions League, as the team got eliminated in the play-off rounds against Manchester United convincingly with a 7:1 aggregate score, prior to winning over Greek vice-champions from Panathenaikos with a 4:2 aggregate score. It was anyway hard to imagine players of Club Brugge to progress over Manchester United so no one will be disappointed with them playing in Europa League, however start in the domestic league is more than worrying for now.
Club Brugge is playing with many ups and downs in Jupiler League, but nowhere close the needed standard for a team of their reputation. Currently, they are at seventh position with only ten points earned so far, already being six points off from the top of the table and leaders from Oostende. They are still without a away victory in the league and with such record, can’t hope for many positive things against Napoli, one of the strongest sides they face up against this season. Most recently, they suffered 2:1 defeat away to Mouscron and generally the attention of the whole club is going completely now in the direction of domestic league only. Central defender Oscar Duarte is back in the team in comparison to the domestic league game, same as winger Jose Izquierdo. Sidelined with injuries are midfielder Lior Rafaelov (1/0), central defenders Stefano Denswil (3/0) and Bjorn Engels and offensive players Felipe Gedoz and Bernie Ibini-Isei.
Napoli is a favorite here with the way their offensive lineup works, but at the same time they are not to be trusted fully yet due mistakes they made in every single game. Plenty of goalscoring chances is expected here, with over 2.5 goals probably coming rather easy, maybe even after the first halftime already. Napoli alone is capable of scoring three goals here.
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