Barcelona and Napoli tussle it out for a place in the last eight of the Champions League. It has been a dismal campaign for the Catalans who relinquished their title to bitter rivals Real Madrid and also fell short in the Copa del Rey. In contrast, the Azzurri achieved Coppa Italia success after getting the better of favourites Juventus.
Where and when: Camp Nou, Barcelona – 8 August, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Barcelona vs. Napoli: BT Sport 2
Last time: Dries Mertens and Antoine Griezmann exchanged efforts during the first-leg in February.
Barcelona v Napoli Predictions and Preview
To much surprise, Blaugrana boss Quique Setien remains at the helm. The under-fire Spaniard was brought in to replace Ernesto Valverde but the pressure and expectation has got to the ex-Real Betis tactician.
Scraping a 1-0 win against already relegated Espanyol did not go down well with the natives and losing to 10-man Osasuna shortly after ensured the clamour for legendary former skipper Xavi only intensified.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Fabian Ruiz to score first||18/1||Offer|
|Over 3.5 goals||13/8||Offer|
|Barcelona to win 2-1||31/4||Offer|
The World Cup winner is destined to manage Barca one day but isn’t a frontrunner with Ronald Koeman and Mauricio Pochettino targeted for the hotseat. Pochettino, an Espanyol player for 9 seasons, has made a shock U-turn after vowing to never manage his old team’s neighbours and Lionel Messi is reportedly keen on linking up with his compatriot.
Messi has unsurprisingly been the standout performer for the Blaugrana this term. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner has contributed 27 goals and 24 assists and is 3/1 to open proceedings. Messi will be joined in attack by Luis Suarez and Griezmann, despite the Frenchman’s struggles.
In his defence, Griezmann has often been shunted out wide but his equaliser in Naples will have done enough to ensure his participation from the opening whistle. The 29-year-old is 9/5 to net anytime and Suarez is 27/20 in the same market. The old Liverpool fan favourite has struck on 19 occasions and was a huge loss when on the treatment table earlier in the year. Barcelona are 8/13 to win in normal time and 2/5 to qualify outright.
Elsewhere, travelling Napoli may be without Lorenzo Insigne. The local lad limped off on the final day of the Serie A season and is touch and go to be fit. Gennaro Gattuso will go with Mertens, Callejon and Arek Milik if Insigne is ruled out and the Azzurri number 14 is 8/1 to break the deadlock. Napoli are 17/4 to emerge triumphant after 90 minutes and 9/4 to advance to the next round.
One to watch for Barcelona: Ansu Fati averages a goal every four appearances and is the crown jewel in the Blaugrana ranks. The teenage sensation is 11/2 to bag last.
One to watch for Napoli: Fernando Llorente famously made his mark late on in last year’s competition for Tottenham Hotspur and is 9/1 to notch the final effort.
Long shot: The visiting Azzurri will fancy their chances. Gattuso’s troops are well drilled and will frustrate Barcelona from the opening passage. Napoli have a number of stylish and talented footballers and may never get a better chance of toppling their Spanish adversaries. A 3-1 victory for the away squad is 45/1.