Game Preview: Napoli vs. Lazio - Coppa Italia Semi-Final - Second Leg - Wednesday, 08/04/2015

Italian Cup / Coppa Italia - Football Matchup - Napoli vs. Lazio - Team Logos / Odds / PreviewNapoli were impressive when they held Lazio to a 1-1 in the 1st leg Coppa Italia semi-final clash at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome earlier in March. What is important is that I Ciucciarelli got an important away goal. They hit the woodwork on a couple of occasions and Manolo Gabbiadini, the 23-year old import from Sampdoria looked in good touch getting that vital lone goal. Gonzalo Higuain, too, came close to scoring when an angled drive from him hit the woodwork.

The verve and confidence the Napoletanos showed in Rome seems to have dissipated fast. Rafael Benitez has been under intense fire from both fans and critics as his constant rotation of players has contributed to the club's undoing of late. Things since begginning of March haven't gone the way of Napoli. They have seen their position in the Serie A slip to the 6th from being 3rd just three months ago. A look at their recent scores reveals that they have won just one of their past eight matches.

Torino 1 - 1 Napoli

Lazio 1 - 1 Napoli

Napoli 2 - 2 Inter Milan

Napoli 3 - 1 Diamo Moscow

Verona 2 - 0 Napoli

Dinamo Moscow - 0 - 0 Napoli

Napoli 1 - 1 Atalanta

Roma 1 - 0 Napoli

This is quite in contrast to Lazio's superb recent form. Spearheaded by the German great, Miroslav Klose (12 goals from 30 appearances in the 2014-15 season), the Rome-based club is placed third in the Serie A and are very much in reckoning for a Champions League entry next season. Midfielders Biglia, Anderson and Candreva have been combining beautifully of late, been among goals and contributed to Lazio's recent successes. With the likes of De Vrij, Dusan Basta and Stefan Radu marshalling the defense and the excellent Federico Marchetti between the posts the Biancazzurri have conceded just once in their past 4 matches. Scores since their 1-1 draw with Napoli in the 1st leg are as follows.

Lazio 4 - 0 Fiorentina

Torino 0 - 2 Lazio

Lazio 2 - 0 Verona

Cagliari 1 - 3 Lazio

A head to head encounter records shows the Naples club coming out winners. Lazio haven't won in any of their last six meetings with Napoli. I Ciucciarelli have won the Coppa Italia twice in the last three seasons, while Lazio won the cup in 2012/13. Napoli will be playing at home at Stadio San Paolo backed by partisan crowds, but Lazio look superior on paper and much more confident going into Wednesday night's clash.

The bookmakers are relying on history and a home advantage for the Naples club. This reflects on the odds for the April 8 Coppa Italia semi-final clash, which promises to be a mouth-watering encounter.

Odds for a Napoli win: 23/20

Odds for a draw: 23/10

Odds for a Lazio win: 12/5

Odds to advance:

Napoli: 2/5

Lazio: 7/4