Arsenal welcome Italian side Napoli to the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night aiming to bounce back from a rather lacklustre display away at Everton last weekend which saw them lose 1-0. Dries Mertens has three goals and two assists in his last four games. Will he add to that tally against a shaky Arsenal defence, or can the Gunners keep the Partenopei quiet?
Arsenal vs SSC Napoli – Europa League Quarter-Final 18/19
Where to Watch
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: 11 April 2019
Kick Off Time: 20:00 BST
Referee in Charge: Alberto Undiano Mallenco from Spain
TV Channel / Live Stream: You can watch the game live on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD. Live streaming is also available on the BT Sport app on your mobile or tablet device if you’re on the go during the match.
Arsenal vs Napoli – Current Form Guide
Arsenal were poor last time out against Everton at Goodison Park. Let’s forget that, though. They’re two different teams home and away this season. At home, they’ve been fantastic. In fact, their only defeats on home soil since December 2017 have been to Manchester City.
Sporting managed to come away from the Emirates with a credible draw in November, but no other sides has come close to taking any points from Arsenal at home. BATE and Rennes were hammered 3-0 here recently, and Napoli must ensure they’re on top of the game if they’re to avoid the same fate.
The Italian side are a completely different proposition for the Gunners on Thursday. They’re not playing the champions of Belarus or a mid-table French side. Napoli are one of the best sides in Italy. It won’t be easy.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have had a good season so far, but are the wheels starting to fall off a little? They scraped past Salzburg in the previous round, and although they beat Udinese and Roma in the weeks after that, they’ve recently suffered a defeat to a poor Empoli side. They also failed to beat Genoa at home. Genoa played over an hour with ten men too after Sturaro saw red.
Team News and Predicted Line-ups
Laurent Koscielny missed the Everton game through injury, but he’s expected to win his fitness race for this one. He will have to pass a late fitness test, though. As too will Granit Xhaka. He’s been struggling of late and it’s unlikely that he’ll win his own race to be fit. The fans are crying out for Aubameyang and Lacazette to start up top together, and they should get their wish on Thursday.
As for Napoli, Lorenzo Insigne made his comeback from injury against Genoa at the weekend, He might not start the game at the Emirates, but he should be able to play some part.
Arsenal Predicted XI: Leno, Maitland-Niles, Mustafi, Koscielny, Sokratis, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Torreira, Iwobi, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Napoli Predicted XI: Meret, Hysaj, Koulibaly, Maksimovic, Ghoulam, Callejon, Allan, Ruiz, Zielinski, Milik, Mertens.
Latest Match Odds
Arsenal are understandably slight favourites with the bookies to win at home considering their recent form at the Emirates. They’ve been priced up to win the match at odds of 11/8, with Napoli available at 21/10. The draw is 5/2.
2-1. I think Arsenal can beat Napoli, but I also think the Italians can cause the Gunners problems at the back. Ok, so Rennes and BATE Borisov couldn’t break them down, but Napoli have scored 14 goals in their last six away games. With Insigne back and Mertens on fire at the moment, I believe they’ll nick one.
Over 2.5 goals is pretty short at odds of 8/11. Both teams to score is also on the slim side at 8/15, which suggests the bookies feel the same way I do in that Napoli will score. I’m simply going for an Arsenal win here. They should get the job done at home, but the away tie could be tricky if they concede. Arsenal to win at odds of 11/8 is good enough for me.
Match Stats & Facts
- Arsenal have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine Europa League matches.
- Over 2.5 goals has landed in Arsenal’s last three Europa League matches.
- Napoli have won just two of their last six in all competitions.
- Carlo Ancelotti’s last two matches against Arsenal have ended in 5-1 wins.