Preview - RB Leipzig vs Napoli 23 Feb 2018

Started by aaguerra90, Feb 21, 2018, 07:10 AM

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Europa League Round of 32
RB Leipzig vs Napoli
Friday, February 23rd, 2018
02:00 (GMT +8)
Stadium: Red Bull Arena Leipzig

RB Leipzig:
Last five matches: L W W W D
Average goals per match: 1.6
Average goals against per match: 1.8
Top Scorer: Timo Werner (3)

Last five matches: W L W W W 
Average goals per match: 1.8
Average goals against per match: 1.8
Top Scorer: Lorenzo Insigne (4)

This clash pits together two teams that were surprisingly knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage. In the first leg, Leipzig shocked Napoli and defeated them at the San Paolo 3-1; however, to those who have watched the Partenopei have seen how the Italians have struggled in Europe all year. Coach Maurizio Sarri has stated that his club do not have the correct squad to make a run at the Europa League title. Sarri and his players are more focused on winning the Scudetto, and thus are willing to sacrifice getting knocked out of Europe in order to not risk losing the domestic league title.

Leipzig sit comfortably with a 3-1 lead after the first leg, and should progress comfortably to the next round. The Germans may put more importance in the Europa League now that they are fifth in the Bundesliga table; a spot that does not qualify them for next season's Champions League. What would guarantee them Champions League football is a Europa League title.

Napoli have not won away from home this year in European competition; don't expect them to miraculously turn this tie around, especially if Sarri makes several changes in his lineup to rest his starters.

Prediction: RB Leipzig 2-1 Napoli


Half Time: 0:1
Full Time: 0:2
Aggregate score: 3-3
Shots: 3:9
Shots on target: 0:7
Corner Kicks: 2:4
Possession: 45:55

RB Leipzig survived their tie against Napoli and qualified to the Europa League Round of 16 on away goals after losing 2-0 at home.

After making several rotations in the first leg, Maurizio Sarri fielded up to seven of his starters today. Only Jose Maria Callejon, Jorginho, Elseid Hysaj, and Kalidou Koulibaly started the match on the bench.

It was a stale beginning to the match, the only exciting bit of action was a shot by Marcel Sabitzer that deflected off Lorenzo Tonelli and hit the crossbar. That was a wakeup call for the Italians and after being caught offside twice, they found the opener. In the 31st minute, Lorenzo Insigne broke into the box and unleashed a shot that was saved by Peter Gulacsi. The goalkeeper made the save but gave up a rebound and it was Piotr Zielinzki who reacted first to it, poking the ball into the net.

Napoli were still in need of two more goals and pressed hard in the second half to find them. Sarri, who said he didn't care much for the Europa League and called it "a crazy competition" because of their Thursday fixtures, seemed to have changed his mind about the tournament as he sent Callejon, Hysaj, and Jorginho into the match to try to turn the tie around.

The Italians gave Leipzig a scare in the final ten minutes. Callejon received a ball from Allan and crossed into the box where Insigne finished with a first time strike. Napoli tied the aggregate score but were eliminated by the away goals rule.

The three away goals that Leipzig scored in Italy decided the tie. Napoli fought valiantly for a comeback but came up just short.

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