We could be in for a cracker in the opening round of Serie A fixtures, as Lazio welcome Napoli to the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening. Last season’s fifth-placed side host the team that came second to Juventus, with both clubs looking for further improvement this term.
Where and when: Stadio Olimpico – 18 August, kick-off 19:30
Where you can see Lazio vs. Napoli: Eleven Sports, William Hill live streaming
Last time: Napoli spanked Lazio 4-1 for the second time in a row when they met at the Stadio San Paolo back in February, despite the visitors taking an early lead.
Lazio v Napoli Predictions and Preview
Napoli are unbeaten in their last six games against Lazio, winning five of those. As well as two 4-1 victories, the Gli Azzurri have also beaten Lazio 5-0 and 3-0 during that run, scoring 19 goals to their opponents’ three.
On the face of it, Napoli are the favourites, and that’s reflected in the odds. They are 6/4 for the win, while Lazio are priced at 2/1. However, anything can happen on the opening day of the season, with the draw available at 13/5.
|The score draw||14/5||Offer|
|Immobile to score first||19/4||Offer|
|Lazio to win 4-2||50/1||Offer|
With Cristiano Ronaldo pitching up in Turin, Napoli know they need to get off to a great start this year. Despite amassing 91 points last season, they fell just four points short of winning their first Serie A title since 1990.
Lazio, meanwhile, lost out on Champions League football on their head-to-head record against Inter Milan. That equalled their finish from 2016/17, and gives them another crack at the Europa League in the coming campaign.
The Biancocelesti must do without Felipe Anderson this season after the Brazilian’s departure to West Ham. Joaquin Correa has arrived for £13.5m from Sevilla, and is in line for his debut on Saturday.
Napoli have also lost a key player to the Premier League, after Jorginho signed for Chelsea. Just like Simone Inzaghi, new Gli Azzurri boss Carlo Ancelotti has turned to Spain for his replacement, with Fabian Ruiz joining from Real Betis. Napoli have also brought in Bologna’s Simone Verdi, who’s set to make his Serie A bow for his new club.
Ancelotti will be without Amin Younes and Faouzi Ghoulam due to injury, although Piotr Zielinski is making good progress after spraining his ankle. For the hosts, Ricardo Kishna is nearing a return to action after doing his cruciate last September.
One to watch for Lazio: Ciro Immobile had a stunning campaign last year, scoring 41 goals in 47 appearances, including 29 in Serie A. He’s the 19/4 favourite to open the scoring on Saturday.
One to watch for Napoli: Dries Mertens top scored for Napoli last term, with 18 of his 22 goals coming in the league. The Belgian forward is 6/1 for the first goal.
Long shot: Lazio’s last victory over Napoli was a 4-2 triumph at the Stadio San Paolo in May 2015. The hosts are priced at 50/1 to win by the same scoreline on Saturday.