Napoli VS Besiktas Prediction
Both undefeated clubs in Group B of the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League will face on Wednesday night when “Stadio San Paolo” in Naples is set to host clash between Napoli and Turkish champion Besiktas. After opening two rounds Napoli occupies Group B’s peak where Partenopei keeps really solid distance for only two games as they have four points more from runner-ups Besiktas. This simply means Napoli have won their two Champions League fixtures so far while “Black Eagles” from Istanbul fly to Naples after two draws and respectively two points won out of them. So virtually Napoli has one excellent chance to increase its leadership on top of the group and in certain circumstances they can make vital step even for securing first position. This can happen if Napoli wins against Besiktas and at the same time other Group B match facing Dynamo Kyiv against Benfica ends with a draw. Simple calculations show that in such situation Napoli will be with full number of 9 points won, followed by three clubs with 2 points each.
Napoli vs Besiktas – Team News and Match Preview
Besiktas head to Italy for the first time after season 2004-05 when “Black and Whites” were in Group B of the UEFA Cup (nowadays known as the UEFA Europa League) alongside Italian Parma. Both sides met in the decisive matchday five when Parma won with 3-2 at home and thus they have finished above Besiktas. Meanwhile last Italian bound of Besiktas in a Champions League fixture dates from the 2003-04 group stage when they were alongside Lazio in Group G, finishing above them (3rd), although Lazio won four from its five points against Besiktas. Match in Istanbul has ended with a defeat for the Turkish team while second leg at the “Stadio Olimpico” in Rome ended with a draw – 1:1.
In a fact Besiktas have not won in 11 previous matches with Italian foes, drawing two and losing nine. Not the best scenario for sure, but Senol Gunes’ will do its best to use situation in Napoli.
Maurizio Sarri has some dark clouds over his head since Napoli have lost twice in a row – prior and after break for international football. Last weekend’s 1-3 defeat by Roma was the first Serie A home defeat for Napoli since almost year and a half and that’s was another serious hit on their Scudetto dreams. Napoli have been dropped to fifth position after Torino’s expressive win in Palermo on Monday evening, placing them on seven points behind leaders Juventus. Bad days for Napoli and they’re still seeking first win in October, since their last one was the 4-2 win vs Benfica in end of September. Both victories against Benfica and Dynamo Kyiv (1-2 in Ukraine) are signs Napoli can hope on something better in its UEFA Champions League quest and we expect completely different face by Maurizio Sarri’s side here.
Napoli vs Besiktas – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
It’s pretty clear that Arkadiusz Milik’s long-term injury is a serious woe for Napoli’s inspirations and Manolo Gabbiadini cannot justify the expectations on him, after making a move at the “Stadio San Paolo” in January 2015. Gonzalo Higuain’s departure and injury of Milik are leaving Maurizio Sarri with only one typical striker in the squad and that’s exactly Gabbiadini, so we don’t believe Sarri won’t use him here. Unless he don’t start with attacking trio and a false nine – rotating Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne on top.
Napoli’s defense also bleeds since Spanish centre-back Raúl Albiol, who sustained injury early in match against Benfica, has already missed both domestic games against Roma and Atalanta and we saw final results in them. Central defender duo between Nikola Maksimovic and Kalidou Koulibaly still looks pretty far from well-working and even confused, so that’s a good reason for guests from Turkey here.
Latest reports are that Albiol can be featured in Napoli’s starting XI if Sarri decides to risk him, but he can also select Romanian defender Vlad Chiriches, who is fully fit. Anyhow, we expect Serb defender Nikola Maksimovic as a starter from the outset.
Experienced personality like Senol Gunes will do his best to squeeze something, using the moment of uncertainty in Naples. Besiktas arrives in South Italy with awful record against Italian clubs but in good form, winning in the last two Süper Lig rounds – 1:0 vs Rizespor and Kayserispor. Both matches were away from Istanbul and this hints for good spirit on the Bosphorus, as Besitkas shares same number of points with Turkish Süper Lig leaders Istanbul Basaksehir and Galatasaray – all are with 17 points.
However, Senol Gunes has its own injury concerns where we find name of a former Napoli player – Gokhan Inler, who remains doubtful, as well as Oguzhan Ozyakup and Veli Kavlak.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Napoli are the team which can rely to fantastic atmosphere and that also knows how to use its home advantage, promising Champions League start and weakness of Besiktas when facing Italian clubs. Nevertheless, we cannot see any value in currently proposed betting odds on a home win and we’re more tempted by odds for “Both teams to score – Yes“.
Besiktas will try to capture Napoli in a mistake and eventual attacking quartet featuring names of Adriano (or Olcay Sahan) from the left flank, Talisca behind the striker, Ricardo Quaresma from the right wing and Cenk Tosun on top, can be key for winning of this bet.
Venue: “Stadio San Paolo”, Naples.
Referee: Sergei Karasev from Russia.
Possible starting lineups of Napoli and Besiktas
SSC Napoli: Pepe Reina – Faouzi Ghoulam, Kalidou Koulibaly, Nikola Maksimovic, Elseid Hysaj – Marek Hamsik, Piotr Zielinski, Jorginho – Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon, Manolo Gabbiadini. (4-3-3)
Beşiktaş: Fabricio – Caner Erkin, Dusko Tosic, Marcelo, Andreas Beck – Atiba Hutchinson, Tolgay Arslan – Adriano, Talisca, Ricardo Quaresma – Cenk Tosun. (4-2-3-1)