Barcelona vs Napoli. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more

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Barcelona will host Napoli at Camp Nou in the UEFA Europa League round of 32. The match will take place on February 17, beginning at 23:15 IST.

Barcelona News & Current Form:

This season has been extremely difficult for Barcelona, as Lionel Messi left in the summer and the team changed their coach in the course of the championship. In the Champions League group during the Ronald Koeman time, the Blues failed to qualify for the playoffs, losing to Bayern and Benfica. However, they managed to leave Dynamo Kyiv behind and find themselves in the playoffs of the Europa League.

With the arrival of Xavi, Barcelona have improved the quality of football, but there are still plenty of problems in the team’s game. 

In addition, Barça have finally managed to overcome their personnel problems, including the transfers of Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore.

At the moment, the Blue Granatas are in fourth place in the table with 39 points, but they are pulling away from fifth-placed Atlético only by additional indicators. In the last round of the Catalan derby, Barcelona narrowly secured a 2-2 draw against Espanyol, but extended their unbeaten streak to eight games.

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Ansu Fati, Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo, Alejandro Balde, Clement Lenglet (in doubt), Memphis Depay (in doubt) and Dani Alves will not be able to help the team.

Napoli News & Current Form:

Napoli failed to qualify for the Champions League last season and only settled for a trip to the Europa League group stage. However, Luciano Spalletti’s side ended up in very respectable company alongside Leicester, Legia and Spartak. The Neapolitans managed to qualify for the playoffs only in the last round; the competition in the group was tremendous – a 3-2 victory over Leicester allowed them to finish in second place behind Spartak.

As for the domestic championship situation: Napoli had a great start to the Serie A campaign but they slowed down after a difficult winter (squad problems). However, the Partenopei have recovered from their crisis fairly quickly and are now contenders for the Scudetto, sitting in third place in the table and only two points behind leader AC Milan.

Injured: Matteo Politano, Hirving Lozano, Stanislav Lobotka, Axel Tuanzebe.

Barcelona season form guide (all competitions): D-L-L-W-W-D

Napoli season form guide (all competitions): W-L-W-W-W-D

Barcelona vs Napoli Head-To-Head Record:

BarcelonaDrawNapoli
411

The clubs met not so long ago, and also in the playoffs, but of the Champions League. That was in 2018, and after February 1-1 in Naples we had to wait half a year. But in the end Barcelona won at home 3-1, and went through.

Barcelona vs Napoli Predicted XI:

Barcelona’s predicted line-up (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Sergino Dest, Eric Garcia, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Nico Gonzalez; Ousmane Dembele, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Abde Ezzalzouli. 

Napoli’s predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): Alex Meret; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahmani, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Fabian Ruiz; Elif Elmas, Piotr Zielinski, Lorenzo Insigne; Victor Osimhen.

Statistical preview of the match Barcelona vs Napoli:

  • In the previous ten games, Barcelona had suffered only two defeats (both outside of regular time).
  • Only in one of the last five matches the Catalans have scored fewer than two goals.
  • The Blaugrana have won only two of their last six home matches.
  • Napoli had scored at least two goals in six of its previous seven Europa League appearances.
  • In Barcelona’s previous three home games against Napoli, at least three goals were scored.

What has been said before the match:

Xavi Hernandez:

“We will try to be at our best and we want to show that we are capable of competing in Europe. It’s a great chance to keep improving and developing.” 

Luciano Spalletti:

“We have a quest to play against every opponent the same way. You can’t and shouldn’t change your attitude, mentality or tactical setup depending on the context. It will take running, thinking, technique and all the characteristics we need to express ourselves at our best. If we have ambitions to get to the top we have to compete against teams of this level. We have to be ready to challenge any team with the same mentality.”

“I say that Xavi has been a great player and knows how to infuse the team with his excellent quality even as a coach. He will want to take Barcelona back to the heights of past years, but from what I’ve seen he’s already well on his way.”

“They build game from the bottom as they know how to do, they reinforced themselves in January by inserting new players. I believe it will be a high-level opponent. If we then think about the history of this club, we risk being intimidated. Instead, we just have to focus solely on our qualities and our ability to play the football we have expressed for many stretches of the season.”

Barcelona vs Napoli Prediction:

Barça have really improved, and it’s still not a good time to be sure they claim a victory.

The main reason for the doubts is that Barcelona are still very vulnerable defensively. And Napoli are very much capable of punishing the Catalans for their defensive mistakes.

Barcelona of Xavi very rarely manage to secure clean sheets. This has happened only twice in the last ten matches: 1:0 with Mallorca and Alaves. In the other eight matches, 30 goals were scored in the regular season – 13 of them were against Barcelona. So Napoli will for sure have a chance to net as Luciano Spalletti’s team is doing well with the attack. The last match in which they did not score took place in December. After that – seven productive meetings.

To summarize, Barcelona itself plays attacking football and allows it to others. We expect an open game with lots of goals scored.

Parimatch News staff prediction: 

We say: both to score – Yes and the match total over 2.5 – Yes.

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