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Barcelona v Napoli – Preview, Predictions, and Best Bets

Barcelona host Napoli in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

UEFA Champions League

Barcelona host Napoli in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday. The first leg finished 1-1 in Naples as both teams’ top strikers were on target. Barca are unbeaten in five matches vs Napoli and will expect to progress at home.

Barcelona Form

After two bad losses in January, Xavi announced his departure in May. Those defeats were 4-2 at Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey and a 5-3 loss at home to Villarreal in La Liga. The players have since focused their efforts and produced an eight-match unbeaten run with five wins.

Before the first leg, Barca scored a last-minute penalty to win 2-1 at Celta Vigo. A 1-1 draw followed at Napoli as Xavi’s side denied their opponents a single first-half shot. A 4-0 thrashing of Getafe came three days later before a stale 0-0 draw at Athletic Bilbao. On Friday, they eked out a 1-0 home win over Mallorca.

Barcelona Team News

Gavi and Alejandro Balde will play no part for the rest of the season after knee injuries. Ferran Torres and Raphinha are doubts in attack and it appears that all of Marcos Alonso, Pedri, and Frenkie De Jong will be on the treatment table until the end of the month.

Ronald Araújo is set to return in defence whilst Robert Lewandowski will lead the line after a partial test on Friday. Fermin Lopez could start in midfield and 16-year-old star Lamine Yamal will play on the right wing.

Barcelona Motivation

The players are motivated to give Xavi a good send-off. A solid approach is expected, even at home.

Barca have kept three clean sheets in a row and will look to be compact to ensure they don’t fall behind and have to chase the game.

Napoli Form

It’s been a bad title defence for Napoli. They have sacked two coaches with Walter Mazzarri losing his job after eight losses in 16 matches. In the first leg, new coach Francesco Calzona oversaw a 1-1 home draw with Barcelona as his side scored with their only shot on target.

Two wins and two draws have followed in the three weeks since. Napoli drew 1-1 at Cagliari and then destroyed Sassuolo 6-1 away as Victor Osimhen scored a hattrick. After a late goal to beat Juventus 2-1 at home, they drew 1-1 on Friday at home to Torino.

Napoli Team News

January signing Cyril Ngonge is a doubt in attack for this match. Swedish midfielder Jean-Lys Cajuste missed this clash with a thigh injury. Mathias Oliveira and Mario Rui are battling it out for the left-back spot.

Piotr Zielinski and Bournemouth loanee Hamed Traore are pushing to replace Cajuste in midfield from the first leg.

Napoli Motivation

With a seven-point gap to the top four in Serie A, Napoli will want to make the most of this Champions League campaign.

Motivation will be high for all the players, especially Osimhen. Napoli are not a defensive side but they have not been able to consistently dominate games.

Key Stats

Barcelona have kept just 2 clean sheets in their last 14 Champions League matches

Barcelona are unbeaten in 8 matches (5 wins, 3 draws)

Barca’s Lewandowski has scored 12 goals in his last 12 UCL KO matches

Napoli are unbeaten in 6 matches with four 1-1 draws (2 wins)

Napoli are winless in 5 matches vs Barcelona since 2020 (lost 2, drew 3)

Napoli have won 5 of their last 8 UCL away games (lost 3)


A very close second leg is predicted. This could easily finish level and require extra time. Backing one or both of Lewandowski and Osimhen to score looks a wise move.

Best Bet: Both Teams to Score (90 minutes) at 1.60
Value Bet: Draw (90 minutes) at 3.65
Goalscorers Tip: Osimhen and Lewandowski to win score anytime (90 minutes) at 6.41

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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