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Napoli v Arsenal: this last weekend, tonight’s team, and as it is Naples, the security

By Bulldog Drummond

Since the first leg of the Uefa cup tie against Arsenal, Napoli have played one game – a 3-1 away win against Chievo.  The result left them in second place in the league

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Juventus 32 27 3 2 65 22 43 84
2 Napoli 32 20 7 5 61 28 33 67
3 Inter Milan 32 18 6 8 50 26 24 60
4 AC Milan 32 15 10 7 46 30 16 55

So, second spot in the league and thus a return to the Champions League looks assured.  Juventus win the league, as we (not very cleverly) predicted at the start of the season.

Arsenal are of course fourth in the Premier League, coincidentally just one point worse off across the sesaon than Napoli – but in a much tougher league in depth

Pos Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 34 26 7 1 77 20 57 85
2 Manchester City 33 27 2 4 86 22 64 83
3 Tottenham Hotspur 33 22 1 10 64 34 30 67
4 Arsenal 33 20 6 7 66 40 26 66

We have scored more goals this season than Napoli but have a much worse defence through the league season – although to some extent this is a reflection of the nature of football in the Italian league as well as the Premier League having six strong teams, as opposed to two in the Italian league.

So far all three games between the two sides have ended up with the same result…

Date Match Result Score Competition
01 Oct 2013 Arsenal v Napoli W 2-0 UEFA Champions League
11 Dec 2013 Napoli v Arsenal L 2-0 UEFA Champions League
11 Apr 2019 Arsenal v Napoli W 2-0 UEFA Europa League

Our line up for the last game – that on 11 December 2013 game was

Wojciech Szczęsny

Carl Jenkinson   Laurent Koscielny   Per Mertesacker   Kieran Gibbs

Mikel Arteta (captain)  Mesut Özil   Mathieu Flamini

Tomas Rosicky   Santi Cazorla

Olivier Giroud

What was particularly noticeable in that game was that we got given four cards between the 64th and 84th minute – four yellows including a second yellow for Arteta which meant he was sent off.  It was during this period of card awarding that the goals came – the second coming in the 90th minute.

This time around cards could again be an issue since Sokratis, Xhaka and Mkhitaryan are in a position where a card in this game would mean they would miss out on the first semi-final match if Arsenal get through.

Ahead of the match in its build up to the game, the Daily Mail has decided to utilise its approach to reporting transfer rumours – that is citing sources that cite sources, and then reporting the results as fact.  Still I suppose that is better than just making it up as one goes along.  Although not much. Under the headline

“Arsenal fans to be safeguarded by 800 Italian police amid fears of attacks by Napoli hooligans at Europa League clash”

they write…

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, via Sports Witness, there is a strong fear over the ‘presence of holligans’ and as a result a police presence will be reinforced.   And we might pause and reflect that this is rather amusing, in that the Daily Mail never take responsibility for their commentaries.  So I am not sure of the validity of…

“And in December last year, an Inter supporter was killed during clashes with Napoli fans not far from the San Siro.  Ten mini-vans carrying away supporters slipped past police checks and were confronted by around 100 Inter supporters carrying sticks and other weapons.”

How do you slip ten mini-vans past police checks?   With the cunning plan of using another road while all the police were gathered on the main highway?   I really wish they had let us know.   Although the affair was tragic in its consequences as one supporter later died in hospital.

As for the Arsenal line up the website 90 Mins have

Cech;

Maitland-Niles, Koscielny, Sokratis, Monreal;

Torreira, Guendouzi, Xhaka;

Ramsey, Iwobi, Lacazette

and interestingly Sports Mole go with exactly the same selection.

The other quarter finals are Chelsea v Slavia Prague (1-0), Eintracht v Benfica (2-4) and Valencia v Villareal (1-3).

5 comments to Napoli v Arsenal: this last weekend, tonight’s team, and as it is Naples, the security

  • This one is going to be tight but we will go through. Just thinking if as of these days we dont win away,what is the purpose of going to the finals which are not in the Emirates Stadium?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Enroute to win the Cup this season and playing tonight away to Napoli in the Europa League quarter-final 2nd leg match at the intimidating San Paulo Stadium in Naples, Arsenal will beat Napoli in the match in front of their partisans home support and advance to the semi-final stages of the competition. For, Arsenal are more determined and passionate to win the match than Carlos Ancelotti’s Napoli are imagined will win it. And Therefore, Arsenal who are more than prepared and set for the match to play it and win it will beat Napoli to leave Carlos Ancelotti, the Napoli manager highly disappointed.

    My preferred Arsenal 4-3-3 Starting XI and the 7 Gunners I have on the bench for the match are below.

    Starts:
    Leno;
    Licht’ner Mustafi Sokratis Monreal;
    Ramsey Torreria Xhaka;
    Lacazette Aubameyang Iwobi.

    Bench:
    Cech Jenkinson Mavropanous AMN Elneny Ozil Kolasinac.

    Would Emery like to take a serious look at my starts and bench for a possible adoption by him for the match despite that I am not his technical Advisor who is advising him on Arsenal match starts and bench making? Okay, I’ve taken the risk to start all the Arsenal 3 main forwards for the match without making one of them to start the match from the bench. Yes, the risk will yield high cividends for Arsenal in the match. Therefore, Emery could stick to the 3 Arsenal front runners whom I’ve started for the match. I’ve dropped Ozil to the bench to start the match from there. And in place of him start Ramsey. On his having a good game in the match, Ramsey contribution in the match for Arsenal could be immense. Both Lichtsteiner and Monreal can adapt to play as wing backs in the match for Arsenal. Hence, my starting them both in the match. For his being at top form currently couple with the stake that is high for Arsenal in the match has necessitated Leno to start the match. No disrespect to Cech.

  • Gord

    Courtesy of UEFA

    Arsenal XI:
    Cech
    Sokratis Koscielny Monreal
    Maitland-Niles Torreira Xhaka Kolasinac
    Ramsey
    Lacazette Aubameyang

    Beach: Leno, Elneny, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Iwobi, Mustafi, Guendouzi

    COYG!

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    In above comment posting, I left out Koscielny from the Arsenal squad for Napoli because I felt he won’t be at 100% fit to play in the match after he was subjected series of injury causing hard tackles away to Watford last Monday in the PL. But if he’s at 100% fit to play in the match, Emery will certainly start him in the match in place of Lichtsteiner.

    OT. I’ve noticed Pep Guardiola was crying apportioning blames to the VAR as Spurs ended his Man City team dreams to win the quadruple this season. But to think of it, if Man City were the ones that scored the adjudged hands goal that put Spurs through. Would Pep had blamed the VAR? I doubt if he will. I think he’ll keep quiet over the hands goal incident if it be to the favour of Man City.

    Anyway, Pep Guardiola’s Man City dreams to win the quadruple this season before Arsenal win it has gone into smokes. Hmmm.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    In my above comment posting, I left out Koscielny from the Arsenal squad for Napoli because I felt he won’t be at 100% fit to play in the match after he was subjected to series of injury causing hard tackles away to Watford last Monday in the PL. But if he’s at 100% fit to play in the the Napoli match, Emery will certainly start him in the match in place of Lichtsteiner I wouldst think.

    OT. I’ve noticed Pep Guardiola was crying apportioning blames to the VAR as Spurs ended his Man City team dreams to win the quadruple this season. But to think of it, if Man City were the ones that scored the adjudged hands goal that put Spurs through, would Pep had blamed the VAR? I doubt if he will. I think he’ll keep quiet over the hands goal incident if it was to the favour of Man City.

    Anyway, Pep Guardiola’s Man City dreams to win the quadruple this season before Arsenal win it has gone into smokes. Hmmm.

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