Serie A Champions Take on Spanish Giants
Napoli took Serie A by storm last season en route to their first championship in 33 years. They haven’t gotten off to a great start this season, but they did manage to win their first Champions League match at SC Braga. Now, Napoli takes on Real Madrid, who have historically been excellent in this competition. Real took the La Liga lead as they beat previous leaders Girona on Saturday and won their first UCL match. For this massive matchup on Tuesday, let’s preview the Napoli vs Real Madrid odds.
Aside from the upcoming Champions League matches today, Napoli and Real Madrid have only met twice in recent years. They played in the Champions League round of 16 in 2017, and Real Madrid picked up 3-1 wins on both legs. The Partenopei and Real also met in the first round of the 1987-88 UEFA Cup. Napoli drew with Real 1-1 at home and lost 2-0 in Madrid.
Napoli Hitting Their Stride Despite Off-Field Issues
Heading into Tuesday’s match, Napoli have scored four goals in consecutive Serie A games. On Saturday, they handed Lecce a 4-0 defeat as Victor Osimhen completely changed the game when he came on as a substitute at halftime. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia sent in a beautiful cross that Osimhen finished off to make the game 2-0. Gianluca Gaetano and Matteo Politano also added late goals.
Even though the results on the field have been getting better, it’s been a strange week for Osimhen and Napoli off the field. After Osimhen missed a penalty in a scoreless draw at Bologna on September 24th, Napoli’s TikTok account posted a video mocking Osimhen. The Nigerian international was upset with the video, and he and his agent threatened legal action against the club. Osimhen also decided to remove most of the pictures of himself in a Napoli kit from his Instagram.
Currently, the Napoli odds to win Champions League are +2500, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Osimhen leave in January. He has scored in the two matches since the controversy, though. So, the situation between Osimhen and Napoli shouldn’t necessarily affect on-field performance. For Tuesday’s match, the Napoli vs Real Madrid odds price Napoli as a slight underdog. The Partenopei are currently dealing with injuries to defenders Amir Rrahmani and Juan Jesus.
Real on Top of La Liga
Real Madrid knocked off previous league leaders Girona on Saturday to climb to first place in the La Liga table. Striker Joselu has been described as a stopgap solution for Real Madrid, but he scored the first of Real’s three goals and has played well lately. Aurelien Tchouameni and Jude Bellingham also got on the scoresheet in Real’s 3-0 victory. Joselu provided the assist for Bellingham’s goal, and it was the Englishman’s La Liga-leading sixth goal of the season so far.
They’ve been excellent after Los Blancos’ 3-1 loss in the Derbi Madrileno a couple of Sundays ago. In their last two La Liga matches, they’ve scored five goals and conceded none. They’re among the most popular soccer picks today and consistently among the favorites to win the Champions League.
David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger suffered injuries in the midweek 2-0 win over Las Palmas. While Rudiger returned to face Girona on Saturday, Alaba is likely out for the next few matches. He joins goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defender Eder Militao, and midfielder Arda Guler on the sidelines. Short on center backs, Nacho could fill in on Tuesday once again for Real Madrid.
Match Analysis & Odds
Both teams narrowly won their first Champions League matches. A late own goal gifted Napoli a 2-1 win over Braga a couple of weeks back, while Jude Bellingham scored a stoppage-time winner to seal Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Union Berlin. So, the winner of this match will top Group C for the time being. Currently, the Napoli vs Real Madrid odds price visitors Real as +155 moneyline favorites.
Napoli pk comes in at -105 odds in this pick ’em while Real pk displays -115 odds. Both teams have only lost one game this season, in all competitions. While Carlo Ancelotti won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2021-22, this is just Rudi Garcia’s second UCL match in charge of the Partenopei. His Napoli are +165 underdogs, but they have outscored their last two Serie A opponents 8-1.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has hit his stride, with a goal and two assists in his last two matches. He’s going to be a handful for Dani Carvajal to deal with on the wing. Two of Real Madrid’s best defenders are also out, so there should be chances for the hosts here. A draw is priced at +260 odds for this one, and neither team would be too upset with that result. Plus, over 2.5 goals sit at -145 odds for one of the Champions League matches of the week.