Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Napoli play host to Spartak Moscow at their Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in the Europa League round 2. The Neapolitans have been scoring goals for fun in all competitions of late, and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against Spartak. Maurizio Sarri fielded the best possible side in a 2-2 draw with Leicester, and he should continue to count on key players in Thursday’s Europa League clash.
Both Lobotka and Ghoulam remain in the treatment room for the hosts. Spartak Moscow, on the other hand, failed to impress in a 1-0 loss to Legia in their opener, and seeing that they are not regarded as good travelers, we are tempted to put our money on the Serie A side. This will be the first meeting between the two teams in European competitions since 1990, when they faced each other in the Champions League. All Hendrix, Maslov, Melkadze, and Zobnin are likely to miss out with injuries for the away team.
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 (Spartak Moscow):
Spartak Moscow are the most successful club in Russia. The Narodnaya komanda did well to win the Soviet championship on 12 occasions and they won their tenth Russian Premier League title in the 2016/2017 season.
Speaking of the club’s European success, Spartak Moscow made it to the European Cup (Champions League) semis in the 1990/1991 season, but Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille proved to be a big catch for the Russian champions. Spartak were beaten by OM 3-1 in Moscow, while suffering a 2-1 loss to the French side in the return leg at Stade Velodrome.
The club was founded in 1922 and they are considered as “the people’s team”. Spartak Moscow welcome their rivals at Otkrytie Arena, the stadium which was opened in September 2014. The venue will be called Spartak Stadium during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The club’s main rivals are Dynamo Moscow and there have always been fireworks in clashes between the two capital clubs.