Before the international break, Napoli had an incredible run of form, beating Atalanta 2-0, Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0, and Torino 4-0. However, their star striker Victor Osimhen was injured, and they suffered a 0-4 defeat to AC Milan in their last match. Despite being the favorites, Napoli disappointed in that match, with Milan tearing apart their defense and leading 3-0 at halftime. Napoli had some clear chances but couldn't convert them, despite having almost double the shots on target compared to Milan. This showed how much Napoli depended on Osimhen as their main striker.
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Although they suffered a heavy defeat to AC Milan, Napoli are still leading the Serie A table this season, with a 16-point lead over second-placed Lazio, with only 10 matches left to play. They will not panic, but conceding four goals at home is unacceptable, especially when they had only conceded 16 goals in the previous 27 matches.
Less than a week after their loss to AC Milan, Napoli have a chance to get back to winning ways when they travel to Lecce for their 29th Serie A match. However, their focus may be on the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against AC Milan, which is why they may not use their strongest lineup against Lecce. In the first leg of their encounter last August, Napoli were disappointed as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Lecce at home, despite being the favorites. On the other hand, Marco Baroni's team has been underperforming recently, losing their last five Serie A matches, including a defeat to the lower-ranked Empoli. Lecce's biggest problem is their lack of goals, as they have failed to score in their last five matches, and are on the verge of going 500 minutes without a Serie A goal. Despite being 17th in the table, they are still eight points clear of the relegation zone.
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Overall, Napoli are still the favorites, but their recent form and injury to Osimhen may make this match more challenging than expected. Lecce will need to improve their scoring form if they want to take anything from this match.
On the other hand, the 1-1 draw away to Napoli in the first leg will give Lecce additional confidence. The home team also has more motivation to play as they still need points to stay in the league. Although Lecce may be inferior to Napoli in terms of squad quality, their home advantage and greater determination may help them create another surprise in Serie A this season.
Regarding the squad, Victor Osimhen on Napoli's side is still unable to return to play. Meanwhile, right-back Bartosz Bereszynski has returned from injury and may be on the bench, while Hirving Lozano and Giacomo Raspadori may start the game. Tanguy Ndombele and Eljif Elmas may also start if Luciano Spalletti decides to freshen up his midfield.Meanwhile, Lecce is missing only two defenders, Marin Pongracic and Kastriot Dermaku, due to injury. Samuel Umtiti and Youssef Maleh have returned from suspension, but French midfielder Alexis Blin cannot play due to accumulated yellow cards, and Maleh may be selected as a replacement.
The Asian Handicap for the Lecce vs Napoli match is at 0.75 in favor of the away team. It is clear that even if they use a reserve team, Napoli is still rated higher, and the Asian Handicap odds also favor Spalletti's team. Lecce has lost the Asian Handicap in their last five matches. In contrast, Napoli has won the Asian Handicap in 8 out of the last 10 matches. However, statistics show that Lecce often causes difficulties for the away team. Specifically, in the last 6 encounters between the two teams, Napoli has only won 3 times and has suffered 2 defeats. The only draw was the 1-1 match in the first leg. Lecce always knows how to make things difficult for Napoli, and when playing at home, they are determined to gain points.
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Predicted score: Lecce 1-1 Napoli
Low number of goals (Under 2.25)
Napoli had 20 shots on goal against AC Milan but failed to score, and they will continue to miss Victor Osimhen in the next match. Without the 1998-born player, the away team's ability to score many goals on Lecce's field is a big question mark. On the home side, they have not scored in the last 5 matches. The possibility of scoring a goal against Napoli is already a difficult task.