Barcelona will entertain Napoli at the Nou Camp on Saturday evening hoping to pick up a victory and book a place in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League. However, the Naples-based outfit will also fancy their chances of posing a threat on the counter, which could make them a severe test for the Catalan giants to contend with this weekend. Both teams managed to grind out a 1-1- draw in the first-leg. Hence, the away goals rule could come into play if the Italians can keep things stable at the back versus the Spanish giants.
Barca boss Quique Setien will opt a 4-3-3 formation and is expected to instruct his players to dominate the ball and orchestrate some decent goal-scoring opportunities in the final third. The home team need to claim a win if they are to keep their Champions League dreams alive for this season.
Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso might match Barcelona stride for stride by opting for a 4-3-3 set-up as well. He will ask his men to threaten on the break using the pace of Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon.
Clement Lenglet (groin) and Antoine Griezmann (thigh) are both slight doubts for this game. However, both Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal are unavailable for selection due to suspension. Otherwise, Setien doesn’t have any other injury worries to cope with heading into this weekend’s meeting at Catalonia.
Barcelona Predicted XI
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Sergi Roberto, Rakitić, De Jong; Messi, Súarez, Fati
Kostas Manolas remains sidelined because of a rib injury while Nikola Maksimović and Lorenzo Insigne are minor concerns for Gattuso ahead of this European showdown this weekend.
Napoli Predicted XI
Ospina; Hysaj, Di Lorenzo, Koulibaly, Mário Rui; Fabián Ruiz, Demme, Zieliński; Callejón, Mertens, Insigne
Lionel Messi will once again be Barca’s best hope for a goal from the right flank. The Argentine will look to weave his magic while up against Napoli’s Mario Rui. Frenkie De Jong will also be expected to pull out a big performance at the centre of the park when the Catalans host the Italian outfit at the Nou Camp.
Dries Mertens has enjoyed another outstanding campaign for the Naples club this season, so he will fancy his chances of getting his name on the scoresheet on Saturday. The performance of Kalidou Koulibaly and Giovanni Di Lorenzo could very well end up determining the fate of this upcoming contest in Europe.
The bookmakers have made Barcelona the favourites to emerge victorious this weekend after they were priced at 8/13. The draw has been listed as 31/10 while the Naples side are 22/5 underdogs to pull off an upset in Catalonia.
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