Villarreal are yet to earn a single point in Group A of the Champions League, but can they do Manchester City a favour when Napoli visit on Wednesday evening?
If City fail to beat Bayern Munich in the group’s other match, Napoli will qualify whatever happens in their match because they have the higher number of points obtained in the group matches played between themselves and the Manchester side. If Napoli win at Villarreal, they are also through to the last 16 of the competition irrespective of what happens in Manchester. In other words, they are in the driving seat. They are odds-on favourites to finish the job, available at a best price of just 3/4 (Victor Chandler – £75 free betting).
Villarreal have no points and no hope of qualifying for either the last 16 of the Champions League, or for the consolation prize of parachuting into the Europa League, as is the privilege of the team finishing third in the group. As such they have no pressure and will certainly want to finish on a high in front of their home fans. If you think they can turn Napoli over and give Man City more than a glimmer of hope, you can back Juan Carlos Garrido’s side at odds of 4/1(Betfred – £50 free bets).
After consecutive league defeats to Racing Santander and Malaga, however, Villarreal may not be in the greatest shape and the best they could realistically hope for would be a draw (11/4 with Ladbrokes), which would leave Napoli’s fate in the balance. If word gets through to the Italians that City are behind at the Etihad, they might well settle for the point that sends them through. They will be all too aware of the dangers they face in Spain, however, after getting knocked out of the Europa League last season after a 2-1 defeat at Villarreal. As such, they will go for the three points, and should certainly have enough firepower to get the win and scupper the hopes of the blue half of Manchester.