Napoli and Barcelona lock horns for a place in the next round of the Europa League. The first leg at Nou Camp ended with a 1-1 draw as Barcelona’s improvements clearly showed after they were underestimated when the draw was made back in December. Napoli is still in the race for Scudetto in Serie A.
Napoli keep chasing the Milan clubs
Although Napoli drew their last two games in Serie A, they’re still in contention for the title. They would’ve been back at the top for the first time since December had they beat Cagliari on Monday.
But the relegation-threatened side took an early lead and nearly came away with all three points. Victor Osimhen scored another vital goal two minutes from time to secure a draw for Napoli.
The result meant two points separating them from table-toppers AC Milan. Defending champions Inter are level on points with Napoli after successive defeats to Milan and Sassuolo.
When and where to watch?
The match kicks off at 20:00 on Thursday 24th February 2022, and the entire match will be available on BT Sport.
Barca improved vastly with new signings
All four January signings of Barcelona are already among the goals and assists in their first month stay at the club. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the first player in the 21st century to score a hat-trick in four of the top five leagues.
Ferran Torres also wasted no time settling in his return to La Liga after his decent spell in England with Manchester City. The third signing from Premier League, Adama Traore, also chipped in assists with his dribbling causing problems to fullbacks.
Even veteran Dani Alves, who is not part of the Europa League squad, scored in his return to the club with a modest salary. It’s going great for Xavi’s troops as a Champions League qualification is now highly likely after Barcelona’s horrid start to the season.
Second 1-1 draw in 3 clashes
It was for the second time that a game involving Napoli and Barcelona ended in a draw last week. The two sides met in the last 16 of the Champions League two years ago with Barcelona progressing with a 4-2 aggregate score. It was at the Camp Nou game Barcelona won 3-1 to seal a place in the quarterfinals.
Napoli & Barcelona Team News
Axel Tuanzebe, Davide Marfella and Kevin Malcuit aren’t part of Napoli’s Europa League squad. Outgoing winger Lorenzo Insigne, Stanislav Lobotka, Hirving Lozano and Andre Zambo Anguissa are doubts with injuries.
Memphis Depay, Clement Lenglet, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umititi are out of the game for the visitors.
Napoli is still the favourite
Barcelona improved massively under their former midfield general, but Napoli would still be the favourite in the tie. But the Serie A club is still out of key players because of injuries and they failed to win any of their last three fixtures.
|Napoli to progress||9/5 (2.80)||888Sport|
|Both teams to score||6/10 (1.60)||888Sport|
|Victor Osimhen to score anytime||21/10 (3.10)||888Sport|