Napoli - Arsenal Betting Preview: Hungry hosts could punish slow-starting visitors

Rafael Benitez's side must win by three clear goals to guarantee progression to the next round of the Champions League and our tipster is backing the home side to strike first
Arsenal travel to Italy knowing that a single point would be enough to ensure their safe passage to the Champions League knockout stages for an 11th consecutive season when they face Napoli on Wednesday night.

Arsene Wenger's side are currently top of Group F and, having already enjoyed victories on the road against Fenerbahce, Marseille and Borussia Dortmund during this Champions League campaign, the Gunners will be confident of claiming victory in Naples.

Arsenal can be backed at 9/5 (2.80) with BetVictor to enjoy victory against Rafa Benitez's side at the Stadio San Paolo while a home win is chalked up as a 31/20 (2.55) chance with the same firm. The draw is available at 13/5 (2.60) with BetVictor.

Napoli must win by three clear goals to ensure their progression to the next phase of the tournament, although a victory may be enough for Benitez's side should Dortmund slip up against Marseille in their final Group F fixture.

In the knowledge that a big win would ensure qualification, Napoli may be tempted to attack from the first whistle and, with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Goran Pandev and Jose Callejon all likely to start for the Partenopei, they can certainly pile the pressure on the Gunners.

Napoli, though, have conceded eight goals in their last three matches in all competitions and there could well be chances at both ends in what promises to be an open contest.

It is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that BetVictor offer just 4/6 (1.67) that Wednesday's encounter produces three or more goals but the goal markets can still offer value for punters willing to delve a bit deeper.

All six of Arsenal's away goals in the Champions League thus far this term have come in the second half, while the Gunners have netted just 12 of their 30 Premier League goals this season before the break.

Napoli, by contrast, have scored 19 of their 31 league goals this season before the interval, more than any other club in Serie A, and Benitez's troops will be desperate to start positively against the Gunners.

Therefore, the 20/23 (1.87) quote from BetVictor for Napoli to score the opening goal of the game appears to represent outstanding value here and should be backed accordingly.

Napoli to score first at 20/23 (1.87) 3pts stake with BetVictor

Sign up with Bet Victor for a free £25 bet

Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

Follow GoalBetting on