After capturing the Serie A title, Napoli were expected to face some challenges, and the showdown with the formidable Real Madrid in the Champions League presents an opportunity to reignite their spirit.
Post their remarkable championship victory, the departure of genius Luciano Spalletti hit hard, and successor Rudi Garcia is navigating through the initial hurdles, having dropped seven points in the first five Serie A matches.
However, Napoli is gaining momentum once more. They secured a solid 4-1 home victory against Udinese and triumphed over Leece, situating themselves just four points behind the lead. Despite an awkward incident involving star striker Victor Osimhen, which sparked legal turmoil and potential transfer rumors, he remains a key player, continuously delivering striking performances.
As they gear up to face Real Madrid, the need for Osimhen’s peak performance is paramount. The Spanish titans have had a robust start this season, with a sole loss against Atletico. They made a narrow escape in their Champions League opener against Union Berlin, thanks to Jude Bellingham’s last-minute goal, showcasing their continued resilience.
Looking at the odds, it’s a close call. Napoli, known for their extraordinary home games last year, stands as slight favorites at 6/4, while Real Madrid is placed at 7/4. Real Madrid holds an undefeated record in their four meetings with Napoli, securing three wins, including two 3-1 victories in the Champions League six years ago.
Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, despite a quieter season, might find the Champions League stage reinvigorating and is 3/1 to score anytime. Vinicius Junior is back for Real Madrid, with odds at 9/4 at Bet365 for scoring anytime, underscoring his reputation for shining in crucial matches.