Barcelona plays host to Napoli in this Champions League Last 16, second leg. The match will take place at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain. However, from the quarter-final stage, all ties will be played in a single-match knockout format and played at neutral venues. This is due to UEFA’s changes to the competition format to complete the Champions League this season in a short period of time.
Barcelona v Napoli: 1st Leg Highlights
Napoli finished the first leg wondering how they were not ahead in this tie.
They opened the scoring with an absolutely sublime finish from Dries Mertens. Manolas squandered a chance to make it 2-0 right before half-time. He could only manage to toe-poke José Callejón’s low-cross wide of the post.
Napoli pushed forward looking for a lead to take with them to Camp Nou. Insigne cut inside two players on the edge of the box but his shot was too close to ter Stegen.
Minutes later, José Callejón missed Napoli’s best chance of the night. Milik put the Spaniard 1v1 with the keeper, but ter Stegen was out quickly to make a close-range block.
Barcelona v Napoli Preview: Form Guide
Barcelona v Napoli Preview: Barca’s Performance Graph
Barca lost just one match from eleven after the restart. The 1-2 defeat at home to 10-man Osasuna on matchday 37 ultimately saw them concede the La Liga title to Real Madrid.
Their concern will be the number of games they drew in this period. Not to mention the four goals conceded in their last three home matches. They picked up 2.18 PPG post-restart. This would also equate to 82.8 points over a full 38-game season.
Barcelona v Napoli Preview: Napoli’s Performance Graph
Napoli’s form improved after the restart compared to the rest of the season as a whole. They picked up 1.92 PPG; 0.42 better than the 1.5 PPG they had after twenty-six games when Italy went into lockdown.
Despite this, they slid out of the top six. This is due to the relentless push of AC Milan, who were unbeaten post-restart. They picked up 2.5 PPG with a record of nine wins and three draws.
Barcelona v Napoli Preview: Main Goalscorers
Luis Suárez is the top-scorer for Barcelona in the Champions League this season. The thirty-two-year-old forward has three goals in five games. He has an xG of 2.6 which is very similar to his actual goals total.
Lionel Messi looks a major goal threat for Barcelona also. The diminutive Argentine has two goals in six games in the Champions League this season. His xG of 3.4 suggests he has perhaps been a little unfortunate not to have scored more.
Dries Mertens is the top-scorer for Napoli in the Champions League this season. The thirty-two-year-old forward has six goals in five games. His xG of 1.8 suggests he has perhaps been extremely fortunate to have scored this many.
Arkadiusz Milik looks to be another goal threat for Napoli. The twenty five year old forward has three goals in six games in the Champions League this season. This is fairly consistent with his xG of 3.3.
Highlights of Barcelona’s last match
Highlights of Napoli’s last match
CraqueStats Predicts: Barcelona 2 v 1 Napoli
This match could be won and lost based on how each side adapts to their absences. Barcelona are without both Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal due to suspension. Samuel Umtiti and Jean-Clair Todibo are also ruled out due to injury.
Napoli are without Faouzi Ghoulam and Lorenzo Insigne. While the loss of their star player Insigne will be the obvious problem, being without Ghoulam also effectively sees them needing to find a while left-flank for this match.
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All data used in our articles is sourced from Understat, FBRef, Sofascore, Transfermarkt and 538.