Menu
Next Race Newspaper
Free Bets
My Account
Tracker

Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Nice's problems give Napoli a big advantage

Napoli forwards Dries Mertens (left) and Lorenzo Insigne
1 of 1

Playoff second legs
7.45pm Tuesday
Napoli are in a commanding position after defeating Nice 2-0 at the Stadio San Paolo last Wednesday and they can finish the task of qualifying for the Champions League group stage by winning in the south of France.

Everything seemed to go wrong for Nice in the first leg. They failed to get the away goal they were looking for and finished the match with nine men after the late dismissals of attacker Alassane Plea and midfielder Vincent Koziello.

Plea's suspension is a major problem because Mario Balotelli is struggling with a hamstring injury.

The duo were Nice's top league scorers last season with Balotelli netting 15 times and Plea 11.

Without those forwards it is hard to see where the goals are coming from and if Nice try too hard to force the issue they are likely to be picked off on the counter-attack.

Another side who could extend a first-leg lead are Hapoel Be'er Sheva, who take a 2-1 advantage into their match away to Slovenian champions Maribor.

Hapoel dominated the first meeting between the sides and deservedly got the victory despite falling behind to Marcos Tavares's 10th-minute goal.

The tie is evenly balanced but Hapoel have scored in all five of their Champions League matches this term and if they continue the trend it will make life very tough for Maribor.

Recommendations
Napoli
2pts 17-20 bet365, Betfred, Sky Bet
Hapoel Be'er Sheva
1pt 9-5 bet365, Paddy Power

Bet on this week's games at Soccerbase.com

Plea's suspension is a major problem because Mario Balotelli is struggling with a hamstring injury
Bookmaker
Price
E.W. Terms
Sporting
BetVictor
Sky bet
Boylesport
RaceBets