Barcelona will travel to the Stadio San Paolo to face off against Napoli on Tuesday night hoping to pick up a win in the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 clash. The Catalans will come into this encounter after scoring five goals past Eibar in the La Liga. Hence, they will be quietly confident, heading into this European showdown in Naples.
Quique Setien will set up his team in a 4-3-3 formation and could bring Frenkie de Jong back to his starting XI in midweek.
4-3-3 Barcelona Predicted Lineup Vs Napoli
Marc-André ter Stegen will operate in goal for the reigning Spanish champions after he secured a clean sheet versus Eibar in his last outing. Gerard Pique is expected to feature alongside Clement Lenglet at the heart of the Barca backline. Nelson Semedo will get the nod to start in the right-back position while Junior Firpo hopes to impress as the left-back.
Setien will ask both his full-backs to maintain their discipline and push high up the pitch so that they can pin the Napoli wingers inside their own half. However, the Barca defenders can anticipate a tough night’s work as they will have to go up against the talented trio of Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Hirving Lozano.
Jordi Alba remains sidelined with a groin injury. Therefore, he won’t be a part of this trip to Naples in midweek.
Arthur Melo managed to find the back of the net versus Eibar so Setien might reward him with a place alongside Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong at the centre of the park. All three Barca midfielders will focus all of their attention on dominating the ball so that they can create some clear cut goal-scoring opportunities for the front players.
Arturo Vidal and Sergi Roberto will be available for selection on the bench and might get a chance to make an impact in the first-leg if required.
Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi will operate as the wide players on either side of Antoine Griezmann, who will lead the Barca charge down the middle. Messi managed to net four goals against José Luis Mendilibar’s men on Saturday which has made him the bookies’ favourite to open the goal-scoring versus Napoli in midweek.
Both Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez are still out of action due to injury, but Setien will have his new signing, Martin Braithwaite available on the bench.
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