Thursday 11 Apr

Arsenal vs Napoli - Match Preview

11 Apr 2019 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Europa League, Knockout stage

Arsenal FC

  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

vs

Kick-off
19:00 GMT
11 April 2019

SSC Napoli

  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Kick-off
19:00 GMT 11 April 2019

Following two days of UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, the Europa League returns on Thursday as the last eight teams battle it out for the trophy. In one of the biggest ties, Arsenal host Napoli in the first leg of their quarter-final.

STATS

  • Arsenal have been much better this season under with Unai Emery as manager and they are still very much in the hunt for a top-four place in the Premier League. But they have had to rely on their home form in the Europa League as they have had to come back from away first-leg deficits in both of the qualifying rounds, against BATE and then Rennes.
  • Napoli have been unable to keep up with the pace set by Juventus at the top of the Serie A table but will almost definitely secure a place in next season’s Champions League. They survived a second-leg scare in the last round of this competition as they beat RB Leipzig 4-3 on aggregate after a 3-0 win in the first leg.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been able to show off his goalscoring prowess in the Europa League this term where he is Arsenal’s leading scorer with four goals.  
  • Napoli played their group stage football in the Champions League but since their switch to the Europa League, Arkadiusz Milik is their top scorer after scoring twice in the last round.

HEAD TO HEAD

The two sides have met just twice on the European stage and they both came in the Champions League group stage in the 2013/14 season. Both teams managed a 2-0 win in their respective home fixtures. Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil netted the goals in Arsenal’s win while Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon got the two for Napoli in their victory.

ARSENAL NEWS

The Gunners must use their first-leg home advantage to set themselves up for what will be a tough second leg in Naples. Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Danny Welbeck remain out for the season while Laurent Koscielny and Granit Xhaka are doubts for the clash.

Latest matches: Arsenal FC

07.04.2019 Prem Everton FC Arsenal FC 1:0 L
01.04.2019 Prem Arsenal FC Newcastle United 2:0 W
26.03.2019 Club Al-Nasr SC Dubai Arsenal FC 2:3 W
14.03.2019 UEFA Arsenal FC Stade Rennes 3:0 W
10.03.2019 Prem Arsenal FC Manchester United 2:0 W

NAPOLI NEWS

The visitors will be desperate to avoid defeat in London whilst making sure they come away with at least an away goal. They will be boosted by the return to fitness of Lorenzo Insigne and Simone Verdi despite Amadou Diawara and Raul Albiol being out injured.

Latest matches: SSC Napoli

07.04.2019 Seri SSC Napoli Genoa FC 1:1 D
03.04.2019 Seri FC Empoli SSC Napoli 2:1 L
31.03.2019 Seri AS Roma SSC Napoli 1:4 W
17.03.2019 Seri SSC Napoli Udinese Calcio 4:2 W
14.03.2019 UEFA RB Salzburg SSC Napoli 3:1 L

SUMMARY

It will by no means be an easy game for Arsenal as they host the Italian side but they haven’t yet been beaten at the Emirates in Europe this term. Napoli have also struggled for away form which lends itself to the hosts’ confidence in winning, which I expect them to do. I also think the away side will achieve their goal of an away goal, meaning both teams to score looks very likely.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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