Napoli vs Barcelona Prediction: Champions League Match on 25.02.2020
The first legs for many of the Champions League fixtures are pivotal, but this fixture more than most will be important. Barcelona will still have memories of their capitulation against Liverpool in their mind, and the only way that they will be banished is if they can get their hands on the famous trophy this season.
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Napoli’s domestic form this campaign has flattered to deceive, but there are certainly rumblings that they could be getting back to their very best. Their Champions League form earlier in the season was a reason for optimism, as Napoli managed to come out of a group including Liverpool and RB Salzburg. The Italian side finished second in Group E behind the reigning champions, but they did inflict a defeat on Liverpool at the San Paolo Stadium. The Italian side would have been good value to top the group, but their three draws ensured that they settled for the second spot.
Domestically their form has picked up over recent weeks as they are back in the picture for a Champions League finish after winning four of their last five. Napoli had an incredible defensive record in the group stages, as they only conceded four goals, which was the same amount as the number conceded by Barcelona.
Lionel Messi will go into this fixture in the best possible form after scoring four in Barcelona’s recent victory over Eibar. That win coupled with a defeat for Real Madrid means that Barcelona have no leap-frogged their rivals into top-spot ahead of the upcoming El Classico next weekend. This is a huge week for Barcelona, as two wins on the bounce against Napoli and Real Madrid would highlight that they are back to their very best. However, they will need to be at the top of their game to get the win in this fixture.
Head To Head
This will be the first-ever competitive meeting between these two sides. However, they have met on two previous occasions in friendlies. Both sides have recorded one win, with Napoli winning the most recent meeting in 2014.
Napoli Team News
Napoli’s hopes will be knocked with the news that Kalidou Koulibaly will be missing through injury. Kevin Malcuit will also be missing for the home side.
Barcelona Team News
Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele will both be missing for the Catalonian side. Meanwhile, Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto will also be out.
The strong defensive records that both teams have means that this will be a close tie. There will be very little between the teams, and that could mean that the preference for the first leg would be a draw.
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