It’s second vs. third in Serie A on Saturday evening in Rome as Lazio and Napoli look to move closer to leaders Juventus.
With 23 games each played, it’s the away team, Napoli who find themselves just three points off the pace and they know that an away win this weekend could put them right up there with Juventus, who have a tricky looking match with Fiorentina.
So far in 2013, Napoli have been the in-form team in Serie A. Four wins and one draw from their last five games has seen them move to within three points of the top and having won away at Parma and drawn away with Fiorentina, there’s nothing to suggest that Napoli won’t be well capable of winning this encounter.
For Lazio, things have not been going quite so well in the last couple of weeks. The Rome giants won nine games out of ten at the back end of last season but they have not won any of their last three league games and were beaten at home by Chievo in their last home game.
The last time these two sides met was in September of last year and it was the home side, Napoli who ran out 3-0 winners on the day.
On that day it was the in-form 25-year-old striker, Edinson Cavani who bagged a hatrick and having successfully fended off interest from Manchester City, Real Madrid and Arsenal, Napoli will be delighted that they are guaranteed to have the Uruguayan’s services until at least the end of the season. Cavani really is the man bang in form in this division at the moment and having scored the early season hatrick against Lazio, Cavani has gone on to put four goals past Dnipro in the UEFA Cup and earlier this year the striker scored the perfect hatrick in a vital 4-1 win over Roma.
For Lazio, the goals have not been flowing quite so frequently this season. German veteran, Miroslav Klose is the top scorer for his team so far this season, but even he is eight goals behind the haul of 18 which Cavani currently has. Having said that, Lazio have won eight from their last 10 homes games and have only lost once at home since their early season defeat to Genoa.
On paper this one looks like it should go the way of the in form Napoli, however Lazio have a good record against the big sides at home this season and it doesn’t come a lot bigger than this one.
Napoli are the 7/5 favourites for this one but the 2/1 soccer odds on a home win for Lazio do look very attractive. For me though, I’d probably be most tempted to go with the draw. I think both teams will score, which means that potentially either team could sneak all 3 points. However, at 11/5 the draw seems the most likely result to me and I’d be looking at maybe the 1-1 or 2-2 markets which are available at 5/1 and 16/1 respectively.
In terms of first goalscorers, it’s no surprise at all to see Cavani leading the market at 4/1 with Klose just behind him at 5/1.
We could well see both men getting in on the goals in this match but as the home team, I’d maybe expect Lazio to be doing more of the early pushing and I’d therefore be a little more drawn to make my soccer picks on the 5/1 available for Klose.
Lazio v Napoli – draw – 11/5 - BlueSQ
Lazio 1-1 Napoli – 6/1 – William Hill
Miroslav Klose first goal – 5/1 - BetVictor