Mon 23 January 2023 | 11:24

Are Napoli the Champions League’s dark horses?

In years gone by, when Napoli have met Juventus in a top-of-the-table clash, it usually culminates with the latter stopping the former in their tracks and derailing their entire season.

That was the fear of many of the Estadio Diego Armando Maradona faithful as the Bianconeri rocked up at their home on Friday night coming off the back of eight consecutive wins.

It appeared that the Old Lady of Italian football had hit form at the perfect time. As such, oddschecker, which compares

football odds and free bets

, had been slashing odds on Juve winning a first Scudetto in three seasons.

They headed south knowing that victory would leave them just four points behind the league leaders, and four consecutive 1-0 wins on the road had many thinking that another Allegri masterclass was on its way.

But they hadn’t banked on the brilliance of this current Napoli team. Luciano Spalletti has built a side that prides itself on playing attractive, productive football, and that was on display for all to see in Campania.

Goals from Victor Osimhen and the brilliant Khvicha Kvaratskhelia - who may well be the signing of the century at just €10m - gave the hosts a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Then, three goals in 17 second-half minutes left the visitors shell-shocked. Napoli were left to celebrate a huge 5-1 victory, a result that leaves them a massive ten points clear of Juventus.

AC Milan’s draw on Saturday evening ensured that Napoli’s nearest rivals are now nine points adrift. The breathing space could pay dividends both domestically and on the continental stage.


Napoli in Europe 

The Azzurri won all but one game in the UEFA Champions League group stages earlier in the season, including a thumping

4-1 victory over last year's runners-up

, Liverpool. As such, Napoli topped Group A ahead of the English side, which has given them a favourable draw in the second round.

Next month, they will face Eintracht Frankfurt for a place in the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition. And with huge names such as Barcelona already eliminated, it seems that the race for the famous Big Eared trophy is wide open.

Could Napoli be the ones to take full advantage?

Perennial challengers Bayern Munich haven’t been their usual dominant selves without Robert Lewandowski. Real Madrid have struggled somewhat domestically, as have Manchester City, who are a massive eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Arsenal. Napoli are Europe’s on form team at the moment. Could that culminate with the first UEFA Champions League success in the club’s history? 

source: SportMob

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