The Premier League is back for a mid-week run of fixtures, and we look to take the opportunity to try and sneak in a few winners tonight.
Italian Serie A
Napoli to beat Empoli @ 1.83 (Betfair) – 2.5 points
Empoli v Napoli – Over 4.5 goals @ 2.00 (Betfair) – 2 points (#INPLAYMAGIC)
Napoli head into this game against Empoli tonight behind some hot form behind them winning 4 out of their last 5 games while also scoring a minimum of 2 goals in each of those games. Their form has been due to the goal scoring prowess of their forwards including Mertens, Insigne, Hamsik, Callejon and the one and only…GONZALO HI-GUA-IN!
The Argentine has scored 3 goals in their last 4 games, and besides has even created numerous chances for his team mates in order to deliver a strong performance in front of goal. A win tonight will move them into 3rd spot in the final Champions League position, where the team aims to be for next campaign, considering the money and squad depth that they have invested in over the years.
Conversely, Empoli is struggling towards the bottom half of the table and look set to be safe for another season in the Serie A next season. With not major motivation to play for in this game against a strong Napoli side, they would rather save their team energy to take on Torino in the weekend, where they will have a better chance to win. Due to injuries and absences, they will be forced to miss Tonelli, Guarente and Verdi.
Napoli needs to secure Champions League next campaign, or there is a fear that they might lose a lot of their key players in their team, so nothing less than victory will do for them tonight.
Spain La Liga
Valencia to beat Rayo Vallecano @ 1.83 (Betfair) – 2.5 points
Valencia have been in decent form for most of the campaign other than in the month of April; but they have turned the corner around with a strong performance in mid-week against Granada winning by a score of 4-0. Victory tonight will put Valencia in the driver’s seat for the 4th Champions League spot in Spain ahead of Sevilla with Real Madrid the only tough game left between them now and end of season, who they beat in the reverse leg.
Valencia have one of the best attacking set of strikers including Alcacer, Parejo, Piatti, Negredo and Feghouli who have been performing quite consistently for most of the campaign. The defense have Valencia has been outstanding leaking only 25 goals in 33 games, for the 2nd best defense in the league after Barcelona. The back 4 of Otamendi, Mustafi, Gaya and Barragin have been quite solid for most of the campaign; and I expect them to keep another clean sheet.
Vallecano have struggled across most of the season but put in a good run in February/March to push themselves away from the relegation zone. They have lost 3 out of their last 4 games, with their only victory coming against Almeria, who are lower than them in the league standings. Bueno has been the major threat for them scoring 16 goals all campaign; and will be their only hope of finding goals to eek out a victory. They have some absences for this fixture including Amaya, Baena, Alvarez and Bapistao.
The reverse leg was a 3-0 win by Valencia and they will be aiming for a similar performance tonight especially to secure their Champions League fate for next campaign.
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