- Garcia sacked after 16 matches
- Napoli trail Inter by 10 points
- Mazzarri appointed until the end of the season
Napoli have parted ways with head coach Rudi Garcia after just 16 games into the season. The club, currently trailing Serie A leaders Inter Milan by 10 points, has appointed former manager Walter Mazzarri to lead the team until the end of the season.
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Mazzarri returns as Napoli part company with Garcia
Garcia, a 59-year-old Frenchman, was appointed as the head coach in June, but the 10-point gap in the league standings seems to have prompted the club’s decision to make a change. Mazzarri, a 62-year-old Italian, returns to Napoli after previously managing the club from 2009 to 2013.
Mazzarri’s earlier stint with Napoli was marked by significant success, including securing the club’s first trophy in 20 years with the 2012 Copa Italia triumph over undefeated league champions Juventus. In the following season, he guided Napoli to a second-place finish in Serie A, the highest league position for the club in over two decades, and secured a place in the Champions League.
Garcia took charge of Napoli after Luciano Spalletti left the club last season, having delivered Napoli’s first league title in 33 years. However, Napoli’s current fourth-place standing and a recent defeat to 17th-placed Empoli led to Garcia’s departure. His record includes eight wins, four draws, and four defeats.
The appointment of Walter Mazzarri reflects the club’s desire to regain momentum and improve their league position. Napoli fans will be keen to see how Mazzarri’s experience and previous success with the club will impact the team’s performance in the remainder of the season.
With Napoli fourth in the league and in second place in their Champions League group the decision to sack Garcia seems harsh. They are 10 points off the top and look unlikely to repeat last season’s title triumph. However, that was only their third Serie A title in their history and they looked likely to qualify for the Champions League last 16. Bettors will have to monitor Napoli’s performances to see whether Mazzarri can get them close to last season’s level of performance.
At the time of writing, bet365 have Napoli at 12/1 to be champions with Inter Milan favourites at 8/13. They are in a strong position to make the last 16 of the Champions League with Unibet currently offering 1/14 for them to qualify for the knockout stage and 40/1 to win the competition. It will be interesting to see what a change of leadership does to their performances and their prices.
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