Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Thanks to a 3-1 win over Zurich in Switzerland Napoli almost secured their spot in the Europa League last 16, but coach Carlo Ancelotti must warn his men against complacency. The Neapolitans proved their worth in the first leg, but we are positive that they are going to stick to their attacking style of play in Thursday’s football game. It is well known that the Partenopei are a real force to be reckoned with at home and seeing that Zurich head into the match with the lack of confidence, we are tempted to put our money on the Italian side. Lorenzo Insigne scored the opener in the 3-1 win over the Swiss outfit a week ago and the Italian attacker is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders once again. In their last home game in the Europa League Napoli were beaten by Leipzig, but they are considered hot favourites to win Thursday’s clash against Zurich.
Highlighted Player (Dries Mertens):
Dries Mertens is a Belgian football player born on the 6th of May 1987 in Leuven. Mertens started his football career in the youth of RSC Anderlecht and AA Gent. In season 2005/2006 he made his debut for the first team of AA Gent.
After playing for AGOVV, FC Utrecht and PSV Mertens got transferred to Napoli for approximately 9.5 million euro. Mertens made his debut for the Belgian national team in October 2010 and played over 40 games for the national team already. Mertens played during World Cup 2014 and EURO 2016 for Belgium.
Mertens is a right attacking midfielder, which can play as a forward as well. Mertens is known for being a very small fast player, which has the ability to get past several defenders and deliver a cross to his team mates. In his career Mertens didn’t win any big prizes yet. The biggest achievements of Mertens are winning the Dutch national cup with PSV in 2011/2012, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa in 2014 with Napoli.
Highlighted Team (FC Zurich):
Zurich were founded in 1896 and six years later they won their first Swiss Super League title. In the 2008/2009 season der Stadtclub the club won their 12th domestic trophy and, as a result, they are regarded as one of the biggest clubs in Switzerland. Zurich made it to the Champions League (European Cup) on two occasions.
The Swiss outfit faced Real Madrid in the semis of the elite competition in the 1963/1964 season, but Spanish giants Real Madrid proved to be a big catch for them. In the 1967/1977 season Zurich were beaten by Liverpool in the European Cup semis, with the Swiss team losing both legs. Der Stadtclub play their home games at Letzigrund and the capacity of the stadium is 25 000.
It has to be noted that the likes of Shabani Nonda, Josip Drmic, Rosario Martinelli, Ike Shorunmu, Daniel Gygax, Blerim Dzemaili, Jurica Jerkovic, Iulian Filipescu played for the club in the past. Zurich’s home colours are white and blue.