Napoli vs Barcelona Champions League Pedictions
UEFA Champions League | Stadio San Paolo | 25th February 2020 21:00
Napoli are aiming to continue their resurgence as they host Barcelona in a UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash at the San Paolo. The hosts are starting to find form under Gennaro Gattuso and can hold their own against Barcelona.
Partenopei are coming off a 2-1 victory at Brescia in a Serie A clash on Saturday with Lorenzo Insigne and Fabian Ruiz getting the goals. Napoli finished second in Group E to book their place in the round of 16. They were unbeaten in the group but played out three draws in six matches. After a difficult start to life in Naples, Gennaro Gattuso finally has Napoli firing again. They head into Tuesday’s clash unbeaten in six of their last seven matches having faced the likes of Lazio, Inter Milan and Juventus. Kalidou Koulibaly is sidelined for Tuesday’s match alongside right back Kevin Malcuit. Striker Fernando Llorente is doubtful due to illness while top scorer Arkadiusz Milik is expected to return to the starting lineup.
Barcelona progressed to the round of 16 of the Champions League as Group F winners with four wins and two draws. They travel to Naples off the back of an emphatic 5-0 La Liga victory over Eibar on Saturday with Lionel Messi scoring four goals while Artur struck the fifth. The Catalans have struggled with inconsistency this season but appear to be coming into some form in recent weeks. They are unbeaten in seven of their last nine matches in all competitions. Barcelona have some injury problems with forwards Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele ruled out of Tuesday’s match. Left back Jordi Alba is also expected to miss the trip to Naples while striker Martin Braithwaite could make his Champions League debut for the club following an emergency move from Leganes.
Lorenzo Insigne has been in fine form for Napoli in recent weeks with five goals in his last nine matches in all competitions. He should combine well with top scorer Arkadiusz Milik and Dries Mertens who have also impressed lately. Barcelona will look to talisman Lionel Messi to provide the spark in attack. The Argentine forward will take confidence from his four goals on Saturday and should trouble the Napoli backline alongside Antoine Griezmann.
PREDICTION : BARCELONA WIN 2-1
ACCUMULATOR TIP : BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE