Napoli will visit the Cristal Arena to take on Genk in Matchweek 2 of the Champions League on Tuesday.
Napoli started their European campaign on a high last time. They faced defending champions Liverpool on their home turf. It was a very tough fixture on paper, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side responded well. They recorded a 2-0 win courtesy of two late goals. Dries Mertens opened the scoring with a penalty, and Fernando Llorente sealed the win with a goal in stoppage time. The game was even on most metrics, but Napoli were clinical.Embed from Getty Images
Coincidentally, Liverpool were in their group last season as well. Napoli won 1-0 at home in the second game. But a 1-0 loss against Liverpool at Anfield consigned Napoli to the Europa League. Napoli reached the quarter-finals there, but Arsenal knocked them out of the competition. Napoli cleared the group stage in 2017 when they lost to eventual champions Real Madrid. In the two seasons since, they have failed to make the knockout rounds.
In the Serie A, Napoli are in contention for a top-four spot yet again. They are currently fourth in the table after claiming 12 points from their opening six games. Napoli have finished second in the last two seasons, but the title has always been away from their clutches. They hosted Brescia this weekend and claimed a 2-1 win. Dries Mertens and Kostas Manolas got the goals in the first half, and they held on for the three points. Mertens should spearhead the attack against Genk, with Hirving Lozano and Lorenzo Insigne on the flanks beside him.
Genk’s first Champions League game did not end well. They traveled to Austria to face Red Bull Salzburg. The home side ran riot and won 6-2 to inflict a heavy defeat upon Genk. Salzburg were 3-0 up in the first half, and the mountain was too high to climb for Genk from then on. Their league campaign is also not going as planned.Embed from Getty Images
Genk won the Belgian Pro League last season to claim their first title since 2011. They were among the favourites to retain their crown, but that has not materialised. After playing eight games, Genk are seventh in the table. They are seven points below leaders Club Brugge at this stage. Since losing to Salzburg, they have not lost a game.
A 3-1 win over Oostende in the league was followed by a 3-0 hammering of Ronse in the cup. Their most recent game was against Sint-Truiden, which was suspended until further notice. The score was 3-3 when the referee suspended the game. As far as the head to head record goes between Napoli and Genk, these two sides have never met before.
Genk vs Napoli Prediction
Napoli will be the favorites to claim their second straight win in the Champions League. The match should have more than 2.5 goals, and both sides should find the back of the net. But Napoli have enough quality to score the bulk of those and get the three points.