UEL Match Preview: Granada vs Napoli Predictions

Granada vs Napoli predictions

Granada vs Napoli predictions and match preview for Thursday’s game in the UEFA Europa League. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Diego Martinez’s side welcome Italian giants to Los Carmenes.

  • DATE: Thursday 18th February 2021
  • KICK-OFF: 21:00 (local time)
  • VENUE: Los Carmenes
  • COMPETITION: UEFA Europa League

Granada vs Napoli Preview

Granada vs Napoli match preview

Granada head into further uncharted territory this week when they play in the knockout stage of a European competition for the first time. They have a glamour tie against Italian giants Napoli who visit Los Carmenes for the 1st Leg.

Diego Martinez’s side have done brilliantly in this competition so far, emerging through the qualifying rounds before progressing from a group which featured PSV, PAOK and Omonia Nicosia. This match certainly represents a step up in class again but having hosted Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in their last two league games at Los Carmenes, it’s not as though they are unfamiliar with facing this level of opponent.

Overall though Granada’s season hasn’t quite progressed as well as it threatened to do earlier in the campaign. Their recent performances and results haven’t been as good as we’ve come to expect with just one win from seven heading into this. Their defensive frailties in particular suggest Granada may struggle to progress from this tie, but they will fancy their chances in the home leg.

Napoli have already faced LaLiga opposition this season in the Europa League. They took 4 points from their group games against Real Sociedad, pipping the Basque outfit to top spot. Napoli currently sit 5th in Serie A and will be one of a number of clubs who may rotate to some extent in the early knockout rounds at least, although they have numerous selection issues here which will make that difficult.

They aren’t quite the force of old in any case, with 7 league defeats already this season. Genaro Gattuso is under a fair bit of pressure to improve their fortunes and a deep run in the Europa League would certainly help matters. Granada will sense that they are vulnerable here though. This is a Napoli side that has lost 6 of their last 8 away games in all competitions, including each of their last 4 with injury problems currently having a damaging effect on their season.

Head to Head

  • This will be the first competitive meeting.

Team News

Luis Suarez is Granada’s main absentee while key midfielder Luis Milla is also a doubt.

Napoli are missing seven players to injury including Dries Mertens, David Ospina and Hirving Lozano. Meanwhile Kalidou Koulibaly and Faouzi Ghoulam are also out having recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Predicted Granada Starting Lineup:

Silva – Neva, Duarte, Sanchez, Foulquier – Gonalons, Milla – Kenedy, Herrera, Machis – Soldado (4-2-3-1)

Predicted Napoli Starting Lineup:

Meret – Rui, Maksimovic, Rrahmani, Lorenzo – Bakayako, Ruiz – Insigne, Zielinski, Politano – Osimhen (4-2-3-1)

Granada vs Napoli Predictions

Score Prediction: Granada 2-1 Napoli

This is a real opportunity for Granada to claim a major scalp. Napoli are missing a host of important players with the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly and Hirving Lozano absent. Granada are certainly good enough to win on the night but unfortunately their defence isn’t quite as convincing any more and they will struggle to keep the clean sheet that really would have put them firmly in the ascendancy heading into the 2nd Leg.

UEFA Europa League Betting Tips (18+)

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About Mark Sochon 2070 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at) hotmail.co.uk