Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
It’s a testament to Napoli’s quality – both historically and in recent times – that so many still have faith in them to bring the fight to Arsenal here following their 2-0 defeat in the first leg. However, their performances and results back up such a belief. They currently sit in second place in Serie A and although there’s no touching Juventus right now, that’s no small achievement. Just look at their recent 4-1 victory over A.S. Roma as an example of what they are capable of.
On the other hand, the Gunners didn’t gain their advantage here, nor their reputation in general, entirely through sheer dumb luck. That’s not to mention the fact that Napoli need to be exceptional to qualify here, while Arsenal merely have to survive.
Napoli vs Arsenal Prediction: Napoli 2-1 Arsenal
For many, the concern for Arsenal heading into this match hit fever pitch in their victory against Watford. While they bested them 1-0, it was clear that if they were to play at that quality against Napoli, the end result would likely be bad one. And while Arsenal deserve their advantage, they hardly beat a Napoli firing on all cylinders. We doubt that the Italian side will dare show their face in front of their home supporters with that kind of performance, and a motivated Napoli is one that’s very hard to defend against. With that in mind, we predict Napoli win this leg but fail to qualify with a 2-1 victory.
Our recommended tip: Arsenal qualify
The bookmakers are actually expecting a determined Napoli to win this second leg quarter-final Europa League contest. At Ladbrokes, the home side enjoy low-risk 7/10 match odds, while the English team have medium-risk 7/2 odds on a win. However, considering the away side’s decisive 2-0 win in the first leg, Arsenal are already coming into this contest in a very strong position. Therefore, we recommend that you predict the away side will do enough here to qualify to the semi-finals. You’ll find low-risk 2/9 odds on this result at Ladbrokes.
Those who are hoping for a comeback here may just have history on their side. At the very least, their meetings thus far have certainly followed a distinct pattern. These two have only faced twice before, back in the 2013 Champions League group stages. In their first outing, Arsenal won, as they did in the first leg of 2019 by 2-0. However, their rematch with Napoli at home saw them match that scoreline with a 2-0 win of their own. The question for those Napoli fans is whether lightning truly can strike twice.
Top 3 Europa League Bookies
Players to watch: Arkadiusz Milik & Aaron Ramsey
Napoli: Arkadiusz Milik
The decision to go with Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne didn’t exactly pay off last time around, so we think there’s a good chance Arkadiusz Milik will be back in front here – and with good reason too. Not only is Milik one of the finest goalscorers Napoli has but he’s especially effective at home. He’s a menace to the opposition anywhere but on familiar ground at San Paolo Stadium, he’s something extra special.
Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey
Not only did Aaron Ramsey score the goal which led to Napoli having a mountain to climb here but with his move to Juventus in the pipeline, he’s likely to be a thorn in their side for a long time to come. Back with Arsenal, we expect no different. That’s because Ramsey has made it clear that he intends to spend his remaining games with the English side showing them just how much he will be missed.