Napoli – Real Sociedad | 10/12/2020

A pulsating climax to Europa League Group F is in store on Thursday evening, as group leaders Napoli and La Liga high-flyers Real Sociedad face off at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Though Napoli are two points clear of both La Real and Dutch side AZ Alkmaar – and Gennaro Gattuso’s team will definitely qualify if they avoid defeat – they could yet be eliminated if they lose. Real must match or better AZ’s result in Rijeka in to secure their own progress.

Napoli enter this UEFA Europa League (UEL) fixture knowing that a victory would secure the group win, whilst a draw would be enough to guarantee progression to the knockout stages. They have reason to go for victory here, possessing the opportunity to claim their first home win since the renaming of Napoli’s stadium to the ‘Diego Armando Maradona Stadium’.

A result either way looks likely, as the hosts haven’t been involved in a competitive home draw since July (W7, L3), with the last nine witnessing the victorious side on the day score first. However, five of Napoli’s eight home European matches (including qualifiers) against Spanish opposition have ended as draws (W2, D5, L1).

A win would catapult Real Sociedad into the knockout stage in any case, but any other result would be enough if they don’t do worse than Alkmaar, who will play at eliminated Rijeka. However, the fact that Sociedad’s two previous European road trips to Italy have both ended in defeat by at least a two-goal margin will not bring confidence to their fans.

Away from home, ‘La Real’ are still unbeaten in all competitions this campaign (W5, D3), conceding only once before HT in that run, while scoring first in each win. In fact, Sociedad have kept four clean sheets across their last five UEL away games, and five of Sociedad’s total nine goals from those matches were struck in the second half.


Date: 10/12/2020
Time: 20:55
Venue: Stadio Diego Armando Maradona (Naples)
Pick for this match:
“1” – @ 1.95 ( Betwinner )

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