Surprise La Liga leaders Real Sociedad hosts Serie A’s second-placed team Napoli on Thursday night in the Europa League. The Group F rivals had differing results on matchday 1 of the Europa League. Real Sociedad claimed a 1-0 away win at Rijeka thanks to a second-half stoppage-time goal from Jon Bautista.
Napoli weren’t so lucky as they slumped to a 1-0 loss at home to Dutch club AZ Alkmaar. They gave up a second-half strike after a first-half stalemate. Napoli need max points on Thursday night at Anoeta to have a chance of progressing to the knockout stage in first or second place.
Real Sociedad are in fantastic form heading into the midweek Europa League clash. The Royals have lost just once in eight games in all competitions this season. Their great play in La Liga has them atop the table after seven matchdays with 14 points. With La Liga looking topsy-turvy this season, Real Sociedad could fight for a top-four place.
Napoli head into the midweek game following a 2-1 win against Benevento in Serie A. Napoli have lost just once on the domestic front and that was simply because Juventus were awarded a forfeit due to the Partenopei not able to make the trip north. This will be the first Europa League meeting between these sides.
Real Sociedad vs Napoli Betting Odds
Real Sociedad are coming off of a La Liga win versus Huesca, 4-1. It was a dominant performance from the Basque club. They have won four straight games in all competitions with three of those victories coming to nil. Real Sociedad have played eight times in all competitions in 2020-21. They have conceded an unbelievably low three goals in eight games for an average of 0.38 per match. The attack has tallied 15 goals with 1.88 being scored per fixture.
Napoli have played six times in all competitions scoring 14 goals and conceding six times. Gennaro Gattuso’s team average 2.33 goals per match and allow 1.00 per fixture. Two of their four wins in all competitions came to nil.
Napoli may have been shut out against AZ Alkmaar on matchday 1 in the Europa League, but they have been very good in front of goal in Serie A. The Partenopei have scored 14 league goals and have an expected league goal total of 7.32.
Real Sociedad are overachieving in front of goal as well. They have an expected La Liga goal total of 10.57 and an actual total of 14.00. Both sides are in overall good form ahead of the game.
Real Sociedad vs Napoli Team News
Gattuso does not have any fresh injury issues ahead of his team’s trip to Anoeta. Gattuso’s team dominated their fixture against AZ Alkmaar last week, yet still managed to lose the game. Napoli kept 73% of the game’s possession and tallied 20 shots with six on target. Gattuso played a strong side including Dries Mertens, Victor Osimhen, and Hirving Lozano.
Lozano goes into the game as Napoli’s leading scorer with four goals. He averages 3.59 shots per 90 minutes and 0.63 expected goals per 90 minutes.
Real Sociedad dominated proceedings versus Rijeka, but still only scored one goal. Napoli’s defence will be far stronger on Thursday night than the one that Rijeka offered. Real Sociedad claimed 66% of the game’s possession versus Rijeka and registered 18 shots. Six of those shots landed on target. Rijeka still managed two shots on target.
Imanol Alguacil has several players that could mis out on the game. Adnan Januzaj, Ander Barrenetxea, Martin Merqueianz, Joseba Zaldua, and Igor Zubeldia are all doubts for the game due to their various injuries. Asier Illarramendi is ruled out until next month while Luca Sangalli is on the sidelines until January.
Real Sociedad vs Napoli Prediction
Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne is second in Napoli goalscoring this season with two goals. The Italian tallied a goal at halftime versus Benevento. The 29-year-old played on Europa League matchday 1 against AZ Alkmaar and should get another chance to play on matchday 2 versus Real Sociedad. Insigne averages 4.48 shots per 90 minutes, the second-most of any Napoli player.
Neither side were able to get a goal in the first half on Europa League matchday 1. Both Real Sociedad and Napoli struggled to get on the scoresheet against teams with less quality. Now, with the group’s two best sides going up against each other, it could take over 45 minutes for a goal to be scored on Thursday night. Real Sociedad have conceded just three goals in La Liga and Napoli a mere two in Serie A.
Europa League matchday 2 should be low scoring for both Real Sociedad and Napoli. The teams’ defences are very strong and should cancel each other out for much of the game. Real Sociedad have kept five clean sheets in all competitions this season. Real Sociedad have seen 62.5% of their games in all competitions finish in clean sheets. Meanwhile, four of their eight games in all competitions ended with under 2.5 goals scored.
Napoli have kept two clean sheets. They have had 33% of their games finish keeping a clean sheet. Just two of Napoli’s six games have ended with under 2.5 goals scored. They have scored goals versus opponents, but against a strong defensive team such as Real Sociedad, could have difficulty getting goals.
Thursday night’s game should see two good defensive teams cancel each other out for most of the game. Real Sociedad have injury and fitness issues that could hit the side hard. Napoli may have failed to win despite dominating matchday 1 versus AZ Alkmaar, but this time they will succeed on the road with a win. The goal should come late in the game as Napoli claim a win to move level on points with Real Sociedad.
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Real Sociedad vs Napoli Frequently Asked Questions
What stadium will host Real Sociedad vs Napoli on Thursday in the Europa League?
Real Sociedad vs Napoli will be played at the Anoeta in Spain.A
What are the odds on Real Sociedad winning vs Napoli on Thursday in the Europa League?
Real Sociedad are slight underdogs for the win on Thursday. The Basque side are priced up at odds of 15/8 to beat Napoli.A
What are the odds on Napoli winning vs Real Sociedad on Thursday?
Napoli are the favourites going into the match at the Anoeta on Thursday in the Europa League. Napoli are priced up at odds of 33/20.A
What time is kick-off for Real Sociedad vs Napoli on Thursday?
Real Sociedad vs Napoli will kick-off at 20:00 UK time on Thursday 29 October.A