Napoli takes on FC Barcelona in the derby of the first knockout round of the Europa League. Here are the predicted line-ups and what to expect from the match.
Barcelona will be back in Europa League action this Thursday night when they host Napoli at the Camp Nou in the first leg of their final stage tie. The winner of the two legs will secure a spot in the 16th round of the competition.
Barcelona had one of the worst seasons in Europe’s top club competition. They won only two fixtures and lost three. This resulted in them finishing in third place behind Benfica and Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Napoli was part of a difficult group that included Leicester City, Spartak Moscow, and Legia Warsaw. The Partenopei, who are vying for the Serie A title, were unable to carry their league form into the continental tournament. They finished second behind Spartak. In their last game, they played Inter Milan 1-1. It was a good performance. Luciano Spalletti will hope for more of the same from his players.
Dani Alves will not be able to play for Barcelona in the knockout phase. The Brazilian was not registered. Ronald Araujo will also be absent due to a calf problem he suffered against Espanyol. Samuel Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, Alejandro Balde, Alejandro Balde, and Ansu Fati are all out with injuries. Memphis Depay, Clement Lenglet, and Clement Lenglet remain in doubt.
Axel Tuanzebe who was loaned to Napoli in January has not been registered for the UEL squad. Due to injuries, Napoli will also be without Stanislav Lobotka, Hirving Lozano, and Matteo Politano.
FC Bacelona Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Garcia, Alba; de Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Adama, Torres, Gavi
Napoli Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui; Anguissa, Ruiz; Elmas, Zielinski, Insigne; Osimhen