Barcelona – Napoli Prediction and Tips for today, February 17, 2022
Football: EUROPA LEAGUE – PLAY OFFS – 1/16-FINALS
Kick-off: 18:45 Barcelona – Napoli
Tip: Under 3.5 Goals
Match Result: 1:1 WON!!!
Barcelona – Napoli Match Preview
- Barcelona are expected to go far in their very first UEFA Europa League (UEL) campaign, having won a total of 13 European trophies over the past 40 years. The Catalan club’s first hurdle on the way to another is as difficult as they could have dreaded, but Xavi’s men have shown they know where the goal is, after scoring twice or more in four of their last five competitive games.
- On the evidence of Barça’s 2-2 weekend draw against Espanyol, a high-scoring game is not off limits. Their last two competitive home games have also witnessed 11 match goals, while the club’s last seven European knockout matches at home saw one side score at least three times!
- Making a record-equalling ninth appearance in the UEL knockouts, Napoli have a prime chance to avenge their Camp Nou defeat back in August 2020. That loss led to the Partenopei’s elimination from the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, which itself is part of an ongoing streak of aggregate losses across their last six two-legged ties against Spanish teams.
- Napoli’s hopes of breaking that will be fuelled by their current four-game unbeaten run (W3, D1), and their status as the best away-day defence in Serie A this season. Defending on foreign soil is clearly a different proposition though, with Luciano Spaletti’s men losing their last four European knockout away matches by a two-goal margin.
- Players to watch: Luuk de Jong rescued a point for Barcelona at the weekend, and has scored three goals in his last two UEL matches, including a brace of headers in the 2020 UEL final to help his then-club Sevilla beat Italian opposition (Inter). Someone equally fond of this competition is Eljif Elmas, who has scored three of Napoli’s last four UEL goals.
- Hot stat: Six of Napoli’s last seven UEL matches saw the opening goal scored within the first ten minutes.