Sunday, April 11, 2021

Prediction: Barcelona vs Napoli

Verdict: Barcelona to go through

Best Odds: 7/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

Barcelona will take on Napoli at Camp Nou in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie this weekend. The first leg of the tie ended in a 1-1 draw in Naples in Italy, and the Spanish giants will confident of getting the job done in the second leg, which is slated to kick off at 8pm UK time on Saturday evening. Both the Blaugrana and Napoli are attack-minded teams, and there should be a few goals in the game at Camp Nou.

Barcelona

Barcelona failed to win La Liga this past season, with bitter rivals Real Madrid clinching the title with relative ease. There are boardroom problems at Camp Nou, and the future of superstar Lionel Messi is also wrapped up in uncertainty. The Blaugrana are reportedly looking to sell a number of their big-name players due to their dire financial situation, but against Napoli, the team will be as determined as ever.

Under-pressure head coachQuique Setien will know that winning the Champions League will mean a lot for the fans and the players, and it will also put a positive spin on what has been a disappointing season for Barcelona. Given the quality of players at his disposal, especially Messi, Setien will be confident of his side scoring at least one more goal than Napoli on Saturday evening.

Team news

Barcelona could be without forward Antoine Griezmann, who has a thigh problem, while central defender Clement Lenglet is suffering from a groin issue and Ronald Araujo has an ankle injury.

Sergio Busquets is suspended for the game, and so is Arturo Vidal, while Ousmane Dembele and Samuel Umtiti are on the sidelines at the moment.

Napoli

Napoli endured a very disappointing and difficult season, as the Neapolitans failed to challenge for the Scudetto and also sacked Carlo Ancelotti in December 2019, with the Italian tactician now in charge of Everton in the Premier League.

Although Gennaro Gattuso steadied the ship and brought the players back together, he was unable to prevent Napoli from finishing as low as seventh in the Serie A table with 62 points from 38 matches, as many as 21 points behind eventual winners Juventus.

However, Napoli did win the Coppa Italia by beating Juventus on penalties, and that will give some encouragement and motivation to the players, as they prepare to take on the mighty Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Team News

Greece international central defender Kostas Manolas will not feature in the match for Napoli due to ribs injury.

Club captain and star forward Lorenzo Insigne could also sit out due to adductors issue, while central defender Nikola Maksimovic is doubtful with an ankle problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Barcelona have lost just one and won four of the past five matches in all competitions.
    The Spanish powerhouse won Group F with 14 points from six matches.
    Barca are unbeaten in 35 Champions League home matches.
    Napoli have won three and lost two of their last five games in all competitions.
    The Serie A outfit ended up second in Group E with 12 points.
    Napoli have lost their last four two-legged ties against Spanish opposition.

Conclusion

While Napoli do have what it takes to beat Barcelona and have some wonderful players in their team, Barcelona should get the job done, especially as they have an away goal and need just a goalless draw at Camp Nou to progress to the next round of the Champions League.

It is hard to see no goals being scored at Camp Nou given the nature of football played by the two sides, but Barca have a better firepower and arguably the best player in the world in Messi and should get over the line safely.

Verdict: Barcelona to go through

Best Odds: 7/20

Bookmaker: 888sport

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jamie Jones


Jamie Jones is an experienced football journalist who has been working in the industry for years. Jamie watches all the major leagues in Europe, especially the Premier League and La Liga.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
  Subscribe  
Notify of
Live Scores

advertisement

Betting Guide Advertisement

advertisement

Become a Writer
More More
Top