Napoli vs Roma in Copa Italia Semi-Final: Soccer Picks

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:11 PM GMT

Napoli look to pull out all the stops to reverse a 3-2 deficit from the first leg of their Coppa Italia tie in their favour. Can they accomplish the feat or will Roma nose ahead into the finals. Join us as we breakdown this highly anticipated affair.

Napoli look to come back from behind

The Azzuri need to reverse a 3-2 deficit in order to advance into the Coppa Italia final and Rafa Benitez is confident his side can deliver in Naples on Wednesday. So it would seem do the sportsbooks. They fancy their chances by listing them as the favourites to win the second leg, albeit on the short side of even money, just a smidgen above at +110 soccer odds.

Napoli have lost just once on home turf this season in Serie A; they are 8-3-1 at home, a mark that augurs well as they prepare for their toughest home clash yet. Overall, Napoli are third in the table with a 14-5-4 mark on the season and 47 points through 23 laps, which puts them just four points behind Roma in the table.

Napoli fell behind early in the first leg at Stadio Olimpico, going down 2-0 before halftime and to all intents and purposes the tie seemed to be all but over. No option but to fight back and to play attacking football, they rose to the occasion and scored two remarkable goals to draw level. But they were denied the draw when Gervinho scored the late winner to lift Roma to the crucial 3-2 victory.

Roma at the disadvantage despite score edge

Sportsbooks send Roma into the second leg of their tie at the disadvantage, which is hardly surprising given Napoli’s home record. At +240 to either win or draw the second leg however the prices seems rather large however.

Roma have lost just one match all season; they are second in the table with a 15-6-1 record and 51 points through 22 laps, nine points off pace setting Juventus at the top of the table with a game in hand. Road form has been almost as good as their home form with a 6-4-1 record – their only defeat this season – somewhat fittingly – a 3-0 defeat to Juventus in Turin.

Roma ran away 2-0 winners in the first half of the Coppa Italia tie and very nearly let it slip through their fingers as they took their foot off the pedal in the second half and allowed Napoli to comeback from behind and draw level. Indeed, there was huge relief when Gervinho scored late, a goal that could prove to be a deciding goal in their favour.

 

Napoli vs. Roma match betting tips and picks:

This tie is finely balanced on a 3-2 score. Theoretically, it could go either way and, thus, there is soccer betting value on both sides of the coin.

Napoli have home advantage, which will be huge for them as they attempt to reverse the tie in their favour. After all, their home form is a source of confidence and not for nothing have sportsbooks tipped them as the +110 favourites at Bet365.

What’s more, Rafa Benitez has revealed his intentions to field an attacking-minded starting XI. If that starting line-up accomplishes anything similar to the results against Marseille, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at Naples, Roma’s in for a tough 90 minutes at the very least.

That said Roma have been nigh sublime this season. Their improvements under coach Rudi Garcia are quite remarkable. The best bit, they are a complete team from top to bottom – great on the attack and very solid on defence. Heck, they’ve scored 45 goals and allowed just 11 goals against through 22 games this season!

Last year, they finished runners-up to Lazio in this competition on a narrow defeat. That could prove to be the catalyst for a standout performance in Naples against the +240 soccer odds. This is their only chance at silverware this season outside of the Scudetto, which – let’s face it – appears out of reach if Juventus continue on their consistent form.

Soccer Picks: Roma to win outright at +240; Over 2.5 at -138