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Napoli vs Villarreal – Hosts to take slender first-leg lead

| 17.02.2011

Napoli’s resolute defence in this season’s Europa League makes them worth backing at 11/10 to take the initiative in the first leg of their last-32 showdown with Villarreal.

Match Odds

Walter Mazzarri has opted to keep things tight at the back in Europe this season with Napoli not conceding any goals in their four fixtures at the San Paolo thus far.

Furthermore, Napoli have never lost a home game against Spanish opposition, while Villarreal are still waiting to taste victory for the first time in Italy.

Villarreal have been dumped out of the Europe League at the last-32 stage in two of the last three campaigns and will be eager to progress further.

It is 2/1 in the Europa League betting that Villarreal take victory, which will put them in a strong position to qualify, given their dominance on their own patch against Italian opponents.

Odds of 11/5 are available on the gamne ending all square, but Villarreal have not drawn any of their last 12 European away games.

First Goalscorer

Both sides have a prolific scorer in their ranks from the Europa League this season and the result could easily be decided by who has the better day in front of goal between Edinson Cavani and Giuseppe Rossi.

Porto’s Radamel Falcao is the top scorer in this year’s tournament with seven goals, but Cavani and Rossi are both among the five players to sit just one goal back.

Cavani is the 9/2 favourite in the Europa League betting to score the opening goal against Villarreal, with Rossi 6/1 to break the deadlock.

Napoli have already won twice this season at home in the Europe League 1-0 and it is 5/1 that they triumph by this scoreline again.

A £25 stake on the scorecast of Napoli beating Villarreal 1-0 and Cavani grabbing the only goal would return £450. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.