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

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At Napoli, Barcelona are set to prove their ambition by showing that the Europa League is a walkover cup for them

Napoli will host Barcelona at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, second leg. The match will take place on February 24, beginning at 01:30 IST.

Napoli News & Current Form:

By inviting Luciano Spalletti to take charge at the beginning of the season, the Neapolitans have bound their hopes of finally winning the Scudetto. The domestic trophy is the team’s main goal, and so far Napoli are striving for it against two Milanese clubs. The calendar at the end of February and beginning of March has been particularly hectic. They have already met with one Milanese club, a 1-1 draw with Inter at home to cancel out their place at the top of the table on aggregate points. 

Napoli take on AC Milan on 6 March. In between there are two fixtures against Barcelona. It is difficult to succeed everywhere, but the rivals’ schedules are not at all simple as well.

The first leg against Barcelona has shown that they can expect to win a trophy in Europe, too. The return leg will show whether Neapolitans are spreading themselves thin across several competitions. Napoli’s path to the group stage did not seem complicated. There were initially two favourites in Group C. Alongside the club from Napoli, the English side Leicester City were the favourites too. But there were two sensations: Spalletti’s charges lost twice to Spartak Moscow, although they managed to beat the English and remained in second place.

The Italian squad is competitive by the standards of the domestic championship and they could well challenge for victory. And this year there is a good chance to succeed in at least one tournament. Next season the team will miss out on their leader Lorenzo Insigne, who has signed a contract with an MLS club, and another leader – Belgian Dries Mertens – is not getting any younger either. So Napoli must strike while the iron is still hot and, first of all, they have to complete their priority task of beating Barcelona on home soil.

Zambo Anguissa, Lobotka and Kevin Malcuit are all missing due to injury, a list that already populated by Hirving Lozano and Tuanzebe

Barcelona News & Current Form:

The Catalans are now in team-building mode and searching for their old ‘firm identity’. Not everything is working out for the new mentor, club legend Xavi. However, the team are already in fourth place in La Liga. On the whole, Barcelona have managed to cope with the aftermath of the defeats that plagued them at the start of the year. First, they lost the Super Cup semi-final to arch-rivals Real Madrid 1-2. Then suffered a setback in the Copa del Rey: in the ⅛ final, Barcelona lost away to Athletic Bilbao

Since then, the Catalans have only played in La Liga, taking two away victories over Alaves 1-0 and Atletico Madrid 4-2 at home, and splitting the derby with Espanyol 2-2 on the eve of the first leg against Napoli. Xavi is gradually bringing the youngsters into the starting line-up – Pedri, Gavi, Ansu Fati – although the veterans can still make the difference. With Atletico, Dani Alves managed to score twice. Frankie de Jong has made a fresh start too: he was on the verge of being sold, but the Dutchman began to score one goal after another. The experienced newcomer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scored a hat-trick against Valencia (1-4) in the last round, should be useful as well and it looks like the team are in good shape in the bigger picture.

The Europa League is not Barcelona’s level, but, nevertheless, such a win would have an obvious impact on their future development and give the team a new lease of life. And there are no clubs comparable to Barcelona in terms of titles among their remaining opponents. The second match will show just how ready Xavi’s team is to take on new challenges.

Injured: Samuel Umtiti, Ansu Fati, Alejandro Balde, Sergi Roberto

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

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

Napoli vs Barcelona Head-To-Head Record:

NapoliDrawBarcelona
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Napoli vs Barcelona Predicted XI:

Napoli Predicted XI (3-4-3): Alex Meret; Amir Rrahmani, Kalidou Koulibaly, Juan Jesus; Mario Rui, Fabian Ruiz, Diego Demme, Eliot Elmas; Piotr Zielinski, Dries Mertens, Victor Osimhen 

Barcelona Predicted XI (4-3-3): Andres Ter Stegen; Serginio Dest, Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Pedri, Sergio Busquets, Gavi; Adama Traore, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres

Statistical preview of the match Napoli vs Barcelona:

  • Barcelona have lost away only twice in their last 10 matches (and only once in regular time), with 4 wins and 4 draws as well.
  • Napoli have been playing unstable at home recently. In the last 10 matches, there have been four defeats and four wins witj 2 draws.
  • Napoli are almost always scoring at home: in 8 of their last 10 away matches.
  • Barça concede regularly on the road: in 8 of their last 10 away matches. 
  • Barcelona have scored 12 goals in their last five matches.
  • The “both to score” scenario often takes place in team matches: Napoli have played 5 out of 7 games in all competitions with such, while Barça have played 8 out of 9.

Napoli vs Barcelona Prediction:

Napoli are looking pale of late. They have struggled to draw with the Italian league underdogs recently and also have defensive problems. They concede not much just because they seem to be playing to avoid losing.

Barcelona on other hand looks formidable under Xavi. They’re productive and beautifully composed. In addition, the newcomers have noticeably strengthened the current forces. They are simply stronger, and the result of the first leg does not reflect the content of the game, in which the Blaugrana clearly showed a higher level of quality. We believe that the Catalans will not lose in Italy and complete what they started in Spain.

Parimatch News staff prediction: 

We say: 1) Barcelona will not lose in regular time and the match total over 1.5 – Yes. 2) Cautious option: both to score – Yes.

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