Napoli vs Shakhtar Donetsk
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 21 November 2017
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
Huge game for Napoli, as it will, up to a point, decide their fate in this group. On just three points from four matches, the Italian side is desperate to win, even by just one goal. They lost 2-1 in Kharkiv on the opening day of the group stage, meaning that if they win 1-0 and finish level on points with Shakhtar, they will have the advantage. There are several things that can go wrong, of course. It’s not just this game. Napoli need to beat Feyenoord as well, in two weeks, in the Netherlands, and furthermore, they need Manchester City to beat Shakhtar in Kharkiv. Each one of these looks very probable, but not 100% sure. First things first though, Napoli absolutely must beat Shakhtar, three days after beating Milan 2-1 at home, a result that kept them first in Italy’s Serie A.
Shakhtar’s game against Oleksandria was a lose-lose case. Not only they lost the match (2-1!), but they didn’t even rest their regulars, as someone could have expected. The only positive thing for the Ukrainian side was that the game was held on Friday, which gave them an extra day to rest, before flying to Italy. Shakhtar have done an awesome job so far in the group, getting the maximum they could have hoped for. Win at home over Napoli, six points against Feyenoord, and a “decent” score when they lost at Manchester City. They have three… match-balls. They qualify to the last 16 of the competition if one of these three things happens: 1) they avoid defeat in Napoli, 2) they get a point against City in two weeks, in Kharkiv, 3) Napoli don’t beat Feyenoord in Rotterdam. Actually, make that three and a half. They still qualify if they lose at Napoli, as long as the final score is 3-2, 4-3, and so on. If it’s 2-1 and they finish level on nine points, it will come down to the overall goal difference, where, at the moment, they are much better than Napoli (+2, compared to the Italians’ -2).
Previous five matches:
Napoli vs Milan 2-1
Chievo vs Napoli 0-0
Napoli vs Manchester City 2-4
Napoli vs Sassuolo 3-1
Genoa vs Napoli 2-3
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Oleksandria 1-2
Mariupol’ vs Shakhtar Donetsk 1-3
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Feyenoord 3-1
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Stal Kamianske 1-1
Zorya vs Shakhtar Donetsk 3-4
Napoli’s next game is on Sunday, at Udinese (Italy Serie A). A day earlier, Shakhtar will be visiting Olimpik Donetsk (the game will be held in Kyiv, not – obviously – in off-limits Donetsk).
Napoli vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Head to head Stats
Their game earlier this season was the first ever between these two.
Napoli vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Prediction
San Paolo will be… boiling, even in late November. I can’t imagine Napoli not winning this game. Actually, I expect them to win by at least two goals, so as to have the advantage if they manage to “catch” Shakhtar at nine points.
Napoli vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Betting Tips
A simple Napoli win pays 1.45. Combined with a clean sheet, this… skyrockets to a fantastic 3.00, as betting companies expect Shakhtar to score as well.
More UEFA Champions League betting tips and match previews:
- Spartak Moscow vs Maribor
- Besiktas vs Porto
- Monaco vs RB Leipzig
- Manchester City vs Feyenoord
- Sevilla vs Liverpool
- APOEL Nicosia vs Real Madrid
- Borussia Dortmund vs Tottenham
- CSKA Moscow vs Benfica
- Qarabag vs Chelsea
- Basel vs Manchester United
- Anderlecht vs Bayern Munich
- PSG vs Celtic
- Atletico Madrid vs Roma
- Juventus vs Barcelona
- Sporting vs Olympiakos