Real Madrid vs. Napoli prediction: Champions League picks, odds

A draw would suit both Real Madrid and Napoli in their Champions League encounter on Wednesday afternoon.

While a point would guarantee that Madrid would finish atop Group C, it would also clinch a spot for Napoli in the Round of 16 and make its match with Braga on Dec. 12 meaningless.

If Napoli were to lose this match and Braga beats Union Berlin, it would set up a win-and-in scenario between the two clubs in a fortnight. Gli Azzurri will want to avoid that at all costs. 

Given the situation and the fact that it’s an underdog on the road against one of the best teams in the world, it should be expected that Napoli will be set up in a defensive posture in this match.

Not only will Walter Mazzarri’s side sell out to avoid defeat, but it’ll want to ensure its goal difference doesn’t get battered since it has a five-goal advantage over Braga ahead of this week’s matches. 

Carlo Ancelotti, head coach of Real Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti, head coach of Real Madrid. Getty Images

And it’s not just the clinching scenarios that should lead to a conservative approach from Napoli.

It’s also the fact the team just switched managers, bringing in Mazzarri to replace Rudi Garcia, over the international break.

The first thing new coaches want is for their teams to stabilize defensively, so I would be shocked if Mazzarri has his team playing swashbuckling football in Madrid on Wednesday.

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Madrid is most comfortable as a counterattacking side, but Napoli is unlikely to play into its hands on this occasion.

All of this should add up to a pretty ugly game of soccer where scoring chances are few and far between.

That puts plenty of value on the draw.

The play: Real Madrid-Napoli Draw +285 (BetMGM)