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Rampant Ricardo Rodriguez form can prolong Napoli struggles


Wolfsburg's Swiss sensation Rodriguez has been deadly from dead-balls in recent matches, so Europa League opponents must avoid paying the penalty

Wolfsburg’s designated penalty taker Ricardo Rodriguez recently reached double figures in all competitions, and the Switzerland international boasts a phenomenal return of 10 in 30 from full back ahead his side’s Europa League quarter-final with Napoli.

Despite striking four times in his last five Die Wolfe outings, Swiss sensation Rodriguez is a brilliant best-price of 51/10 with to net anytime in the first leg.

Like Juventus counterpart and compatriot Stephan Lichtsteiner, attack is the best form of defence for rampant Rodriguez, irrespective of whether he’s playing for club or country. Going into this last eight Europa clash, the two teams’ form could hardly be more different.

Hosts Wolfsburg have won eight of their last 10, keeping clean sheets in half of those victories. Rafa Benitez’s boys come to the Volkswagen arena in the midst of a serious slump that has got the always controversial Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis on his soap box.

“I want discipline,” said De Laurentiis in his latest diatribe, before threatening ‘unlimited’ training sessions on his club’s players. “I have never failed to pay salaries or even delayed them. I have spent 386m euros (£282m) on the purchase of players in 10 years and I demand commitment.”

Napoli supremo De Laurentiis looks likely to be let down by his players again, as they are 18/5 outsiders with Betfair to take a lead back to Naples.

Benitez is enduring a dismal run of two wins in 10, losing on four other occasions all to nil. A trio of bookies make home side Die Wolfe firm odds-on favourites at 5/6 (bet365, BetVictor and Ladbrokes) to win.

Gonzalo Higuain will be the main danger to Rodriguez and the Wolfsburg defence, with the Argentina international netting six Europa League goals. Odds of 7/1 with BetVictor say hotshot Higuain shall score first.

Belgium attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is hot on Higuain’s heels, however, with five and has been wonderful since signing for Die Wolfe, as 14 goals and 25 assists show. The former Chelsea man is 19/10 with several bookmakers (including, Coral and Ladbrokes) to net anytime.

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