Arsenal v Napoli: what Napoli have been up to, and the team for tonight

by Bulldog Drummond

We know that Arsenal results can be more or less predicted by simply looking to see if Arsenal are playing at home or away.  So it is worth looking to see if we can gain a similar perspective from Napoli.  Here are their last six away games.

Date Home team  Score Away team Result
26/01/19 Milan 0 – 0 Napoli D
09/02/19 Fiorentina 0 – 0 Napoli D
24/02/19 Parma 0 – 4 Napoli W
10/03/19 Sassuolo 1 – 1 Napoli D
31/03/19 Roma 1 – 4 Napoli W
03/04/19 Empoli 2 – 1 Napoli L

As we can see there is just one defeat in that run of away games, and amazingly that was against Empoli who currently sit 18th out of 20th in the Italian league.

That result is even more surprising when we consider that the two teams Napoli beat away from home so easily sit comfortably in the table.  Roma are sixth and Parma 13th.  So it looks very much like a Napoli team holding themselves in readiness for Arsenal.

This feeling is enhanced by a look at the league table.  Napoli are second in the league, but 20 points behind Juventus, who have won the league for the past 100 years.  OK maybe I exaggerate, but they have won the league rather a large number of times, and were one of the teams that we predicted would win the league this year in various European countries.

  Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Juventus 31 27 3 1 64 20 44 84
2 Napoli 31 19 7 5 58 27 31 64
3 Inter Milan 31 17 6 8 47 25 22 57
4 AC Milan 31 14 10 7 45 30 15 52
5 Atalanta 31 15 7 9 64 41 23 52

As for their progress in the Europa here are their results this year…

Date Home team Score Away team
14/02/19 Zürich 1 – 3 Napoli
21/02/19 Napoli 2 – 0 Zürich
07/03/19 Napoli 3 – 0 Salzburg
14/03/19 Salzburg 3 – 1 Napoli

The defeat to Salzburg in the last match shows that Napoli are vulnerable away from home – although the 3-0 win in the first leg must have made them feel that they were going to stroll through the second leg.  They are bound to be sharper tonight.

As for the Arsenal “fans,” once again there has been a target of the ire of some “supporters” – this time it has been Mkhitaryan.   He might well be deciding he’s had enough of playing in front of “supporters” like these.

Indeed there is a growing feeling among the jabbering media that Arsenal are no better now under Emery than they were under Wenger – and those who follow the media as a guidance to how to think are presumably even now developing their “Emery out” placards and hiring planes.

Recent headlines include…

  • Don’t blame Ozil for Emery’s mistakes against Everton (Just Arsenal News)
  • ‘He should not start at all’ – Some fans want this Arsenal star out of the team after 1-0 loss (Red London)
  • Arsenal’s Wretched Away Form Will See Gunners Fall Short of Europa League Glory Again  (90min)
  • The five changes Unai Emery must make to turn Arsenal into an away day juggernaut (Football.London)
  • Analysis: How Arsenal lacked urgency and confidence at Everton (You Are My Arsenal)
  • 5 Players Arsenal Definitely Won’t Sign This Summer and the Alternatives They Should Consider (90min(
  • Report: Arsenal target to stay at Bournemouth (Sports Mole)
There is much more of the same type.  Even players with clubs as modest as Bournemouth don’t fancy the chaos that is supposedly Arsenal, at least according to the media.

Meanwhile, the player news is that Aubameyang could start as the reason for his appearances only as a sub is that he has been ill.  Koscielny’s chance of playing won’t be deciding until the last moment as he is recovering from a groin injury.    Xhaka trained on Wednesday, and could be back in the team.

As for the history between the clubs, we met in the Champions League in 2013/14, winning 2-0 at home and losing 0-2 away.

And for this game – well it is a home game, and not only do we tend to win our home games in the League, we have only lost one home game out of the last 17 in Europe, and that was the strange defeat to Ostersunds FK last season.

As for Napoli this is the third time they have got to this round in their history – they went on to win the competition’s predecessor (Uefa Cup) in 1988/9.  They’ve never beaten an English side away.

But of course just winning is not enough.  They are very strong at home and we are poor away, so we need a sizeable win to make it possible to get through in the next round.

Here’s one version of the team currently doing the rounds…


Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal,

Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Guendouzi, Kolasinac,

Iwobi, Aubameyang, Lacazette

And another…


Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal;

Maitland-Niles, Ramsey, Torreira, Kolasinac;

Ozil; Aubameyang, Lacazette

In fact virtually every prediction for the team is either one of those two, or else a combination using those players.



4 Replies to “Arsenal v Napoli: what Napoli have been up to, and the team for tonight”

  1. Off topic. There seems to be a huge furore on the internet following the penalty awarded to man city yesterday after VAR consultation. I know untold being a massively pro-arsenal anti spurs site, I’ll probably hear a verdict of good call. However, I didn’t see the match and I’d really appreciate your objective opinions. Ref assessors in the house(excluding menace of course), what did you make of that decision

  2. Arsenal XI
    Sokratis Koscielny Monreal
    Maitland-Niles Torreira Ramsey Kolasinac
    Lacazette Aubameyang

    Beach: Leno, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Mustafi, Suarez, Geundouzi


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