It is the play off round in the UEFA Champions League this week, well at least the first legs of it anyway and this clash between Napoli and Nice could be the tie of the round. This will actually be the first competitive meeting between the Italian and French clubs, but with Napoli being such a strong home side in Europe, taking on upstarts Nice who are running in their debut Champions League campaign, there could be excitement right down to the wire in this one.
Because of their experience in the UEFA Champions League, coupled with some fantastic European home form, Napoli are trading at 3/10 odds on with William Hill to win the first leg, which leaves Nice out at 9/1 to bank a first leg win. However, the French side caused some waves on the domestic front last season and they came through a very tough tie against last season’s Europa League runners up Ajax to set up this clash with the Italians.
The Italians are yet to start their domestic season and this is their entry into the Champions League this season. They are looking to make it through to the group stage for the fourth time and they have won their last two home games against French opposition. Last season in the UEFA Champions League, Napoli ran through to the round of sixteen where they crashed into Real Madrid and lost 3-1 home and away against the Spaniards. That home loss was just their second defeat in 21 European games at the Stadio San Paolo (W13 D6). So they are a very strong home side and they were the top scorers in Serie A last season too.
The French side have a little advantage of having had some competitive action under their belt already this season. They took a 3-3 aggregate against Ajax in the third qualifying round in the UEFA Champions League, winning through on away goals, so they brought their shooting boots to the party which may make them a threat. What is working against them though is their overall away form in Europe. While this is their first ever Champions League campaign, they have taken just one win in their last 20 away games in UEFA competition, that victory coming last season in the Europa League group stage at FC Salzburg. They have lost 14 of those 20 away games.
Head to Head News
Well, this is the first competitive meeting between the two clubs, but they came together for friendlies in 2015 and 2016. Nice won 3-2 at home in the 2015 clash, while Napoli won at home twelve months later against them 3-0. So plenty of goals then between them if you want to look at it that way. This is Nice’s first ever UEFA competition game against an Italian side. Napoli hold a W4 D2 L2 record from eight previous games against French sides.
Top Betting Tips
What makes this tie interesting is what Nice did against Ajax in the last round, which was just about the toughest draw they could have gotten. They got through that and will hope to be competitive here to at least have something to take back home for the second leg. Napoli though are a very good side at the Stadio San Paolo and can boast tremendous scoring power through the likes of Dries Martens, Arkadiusz Milik and Jose Callejon. But Nice may turn up and be competitive and therefore a Napoli Match Result & Both Teams To Score wager at bet365 for a 11/5 price looks great value.