Serie A Match of the Day Round 1 – Lazio vs. Napoli (8/18/18)

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The Serie A is giving us a derby clash between the teams that finished the last season among the top five, but neither was satisfied with the final outcome in 2017/18, so they will be looking to get off to a flying start this time around. The game between Lazio and Napoli will take place at the Stadio Olimpico on August 18th, 2018.

LAZIO vs. NAPOLI

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Three-Way: 1: Lazio +190; X: +240 Draw; 2: Napoli +137 at BetDSI Sportsbook

Spread 0: Lazio +108; Napoli -119

Total 2.5 goals: Over -137; Under +110

LAZIO

The Eagles flirted with a Champions League place throughout 2017/18 but lost out in the final match of the season in a dramatic five-goal thriller against the direct rival, Inter Milan. It was still a successful campaign for the hosts though, eventually finishing in fifth place with 72 points (W21, D9, L8). Lazio didn’t experience the best of times during pre-season however, registering two wins and two losses in four matches. Still, those two wins came against renowned teams such as Dortmund and Arsenal.

Simone Inzaghi reinforced the squad with the arrivals of Joaquin Correa from Sevilla, Francesco Acerbi from Sassuolo, Valon Berisha from Salzburg, Riza Durmisi who joined from Betis, and Silvio Proto and Milan Badelj who came on a free transfer. On the other hand, Lazio sold the winger Felipe Anderson to West Ham for more than $40 million, while the Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij left for Inter on a free transfer. Comparing the squad to the last year’s one, the Eagles are looking a bit stronger now and they will be looking to earn the Champions League spot and end the campaign among the top four.

Betting Trends:

  • All four of Lazio’s pre-season games finished with only one team scoring
  • Lazio was the deadliest attack in Serie A last season scoring 89 goals (2.34 per game)
  • Lazio failed to score at home in one out of the last six Serie A matches

NAPOLI

The Little Donkeys’ fans will still be feeling the disappointment from their 2017/18 campaign as their team led the table for much of the season but eventually finished in second place, four points behind Juventus. Strong in attack and defense, Napoli were among the best three attacking (77 goals scored) and defensive sides (29 goals conceded) during the 2017/18 season. However, they lost head coach Maurizio Sarri who went to Chelsea and brought the influencing midfielder Jorginho with him to Stamford Bridge, but they appointed the experienced Carlo Ancelotti to replace the departing Sarri.

Napoli earned more than $60 million on Jorginho’s sale, while they also accumulated more cash from the sales of Duvan Zapata and Leonardo Pavoletti who joined Sampdoria and Cagliari, respectively. In return, the Little Donkeys splashed the cash on bringing the young midfielder Fabian Ruiz from Betis, right winger Simone Verdi from Bologna, right-back Kevin Malcuit from Lille, while Amin Younes came on a free transfer from Ajax.

Betting Trends:

  • Napoli scored two goals in each of the previous three Serie A matches
  • Napoli kept the clean sheet in eight out of the last ten SerieA games on the road

The H2H record between both sides gives Napoli a clear edge with the visitors having won four of the past five meetings against Lazio (W4, D1). The last three Serie A clashes between these two teams produced over 2.5 goals, while both tilts in the 2017/18 ended 4-1 for Napoli, so I am backing goals on both ends with over 2.5 goals on this one.

MY PICK: Both teams to score and Over 2.5 goals (-105)

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