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Free-scoring Napoli worthy of handicapped victory over Swansea

| 20.02.2014

Swansea’s luck was seriously out when they drew one of the Champions League group stage’s biggest casualties and second favourites for Europa League glory, Napoli (9/1), in the round of 32.

As such the Premier League hosts are drawn in the outside lane here, priced up at 11/5 to take a lead back to Italy, with the draw a 23/10-shot and 5/4 on a Napoli win.

The evidence would seem to suggest that the latter of those three results is the best place to start your bidding on this match.

Napoli’s demotion to Europe’s second-tier club competition owes much to the misfortune of getting plonked in the Champions League group of death where their fate was sealed by mathematical minutia in the end.

With multi-European-trophy-winning coach Rafael Benitez in charge, though, the Italian club are sure to take the competition he won as Chelsea’s interim coach last season seriously.

After starting brightly in European competition under recently replaced manager Michael Laudrup by beating Valencia in the group stages, Swansea’s form in reaching this point went steadily downhill, reading – D2 L2.

And given the pressing business of retaining the Swans’ Premier League status facing new manager Garry Monk, this is a tie he can be excused for losing.

Napoli’s array of stars should be backed at 10/3 to win this comfortably with a -1 handicap as they arrive in buoyant, goal-scoring form.

The Naples outfit have won their last three games in all competitions, conceding just once and have scored 10 times across their last four, so finding the net multiple times shouldn’t be beyond them.

Seeing the visitors winning the game where the total amount of goals surpasses 2.5 looks like money well spent too, at odds of 14/5.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.