Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Napoli vs Nice Champions League Qualification Live Stream Match Preview & Betting Prediction 2017

Napoli are back in the Champions League for the second consecutive season this year, but they’ve not been granted the easiest of ties to try and make it to the group stages. Nice have been very impressive over the past couple of seasons and this will be a difficult match for a Napoli side who are starting their competitive campaign on Wednesday.

The Italians have had a fairly mixed bag in pre-season, beating a trio of minnows before drawing with Chievo and Bournemouth, losing to Atletico Madrid, and beating Bayern Munich and Espanyol. They have certainly challenged themselves and should be up to full fitness, but their lack of transfer activity is a worry for their fans as they look to close the gap on the dominant Juventus in Serie A.

Napoli have only brought in Adam Ounas from Bordeaux, with Nikola Maksimovic and Marko Rog joining permanently after loan spells last season. They could do with more arrivals to challenge at the top, but they do have a couple of stars. Lorenzo Insigne is one of those – The striker netted 18 league goals last season and laid on nine assists, and he looks a fantastic choice for our anytime goalscorer predictions.

Nice’s competitive campaign began a while ago as they beat Ajax on away goals in the Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round, and they have since started their league season too. It’s not gone particularly well though, with them losing to St Etienne and Troyes. After their two draws against Ajax they are now winless in the four games since their action began.

The French visitors’ history in Europe isn’t a particularly long one, with them only returning to continental action in 2013, after over 15 years without it. They did make the Europa League group stages last year, but this is actually their first Champions League showing since their 1960 appearance in the European Cup.

Nice are definitely classed as the underdogs here, but I think they’re a bit unfairly priced. They did very well to beat Europa League finalists Ajax earlier in the season and they’re facing a Napoli side who have only won one of their last seven Champions League games.

The hosts have conceded in nine of their 12 home games in this competition, and with Nice netting two away against Ajax, odds of 11/10 for Both Teams to Score look good value. We think Napoli are far too short for this too, so backing a Draw at 17/4 alongside a 2-2 correct score predictions at 22/1 could yield a lot of value.