Napoli vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Catalan giants travel to Naples.
|Date||Thursday 24th February 2022|
|Kick-Off||21:00 (local time)|
|Competition||UEFA Europa League|
Napoli vs Barcelona Preview
Barcelona travel to Italy this week for the 2nd Leg of their UEFA Europa League tie against Napoli. The sides are level at 1-1 after a competitive 1st Leg at Camp Nou which Barcelona had the better of but failed to make the most of a number of chances with Ferran Torres in particular wasteful in front of goal, although he was on the mark from the penalty spot.
That game, as well as Sunday’s trip to Valencia offered up fresh evidence to suggest Barcelona are now firmly on the right track under Xavi. They played some excellent football at Mestalla and scored some fine team goals in a 4-1 win in what was a much more clinical display than the one they’d produced against the Italians. A repeat of that here may be enough to see Barça through but they will have to deal with what could be a hostile atmosphere at San Paolo.
The weekend win at Valencia also perhaps gave further indication as to what Barcelona’s best front three may be from what is now a large number of options. Ousmane Dembele’s reintegration is seemingly complete after he started that game while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick puts him in pole position to start here as the central striker.
Napoli are experienced European campaigners and will fancy their chances in this tie having got a good draw in Catalunya in the 1st Leg. They are unbeaten in Serie A in 2022 as well but weren’t particularly impressive on Monday night in a 1-1 draw against Cagliari.
They are just 2 points off the top of Serie A and in with a real chance of competing for the title. In truth winning their first Scudetto since 1990 and the days of Diego Maradona, who of course represented both of these clubs, would trump progress in the Europa League. However they will still almost certainly go with their strongest available side here, although a number of selection issues will hamper them somewhat.
Head to Head
- The sides drew 1-1 at Camp Nou in the 1st Leg last week.
- The clubs had only met once before in European competition.
- That was in 2019/20 when Barcelona won a Champions League Last 16 tie 4-2 on aggregate.
Matteo Politano, Hirving Lozano and Stanislav Lobotka are out injured for the hosts. André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Di Lorenzo are doubts.
Eric García, Sergi Roberto, Ansu Fati and Samuel Umtiti are out for Barcelona. Memphis and Clement Lenglet are doubts while Dani Alves is ineligible.
Napoli vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: Napoli 1-1 Barcelona (Aggregate: 2-2, Barcelona to win on penalties)
It’s tough to pick a winner here. Barcelona were the better team last week but will find it tougher second time around in Italy you’d imagine. It’s a game that has the potential to go the distance and we may need a shootout to decide who goes into the last 16.
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