Napoli – Barcelona Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips – 21.02.2024

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⚽ Napoli – Barcelona Predictions

Napoli – Barcelona Predictions and Tips and Odds for February 21, CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.

Napoli – Barcelona Preview

  • A UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash between the reigning champions of Italy and Spain ought to have Europe’s collective mouths watering, yet both Napoli and Barcelona enter this clash under a managerial cloud. The Partenopei needed a late goal just to draw with Genoa in Serie A over the weekend, and that was the final straw for interim boss Walter Mazzarri, who has been replaced by Slovakia national team manager Francesco Calzona – the third man to take the hot seat this season!
  • It’s little surprise that Napoli have changed boss considering that they surprisingly sit ninth domestically, some 27 points adrift of leaders Inter. They’ll hope that a blockbuster European clash can provide welcome distraction instead, as they look to progress past the last 16 round for just the second time, but as they’ve won just two of their last 16 meetings with Spanish opposition (D5, L9), more suffering could await the home fans here.
  • This is the third time in five seasons that this pair have faced off in a knockout tie, with Barcelona winning the previous two. Xavi’s side will look to make it a hat-trick here in Italy and they arrive in Naples on the back of a four-game unbeaten run domestically (W3, D1), though any aspirations of retaining their La Liga title look to have faded as they trail Real Madrid by eight points.
  • That paves the way for the Blaugrana to apply full focus on their European endeavours at least, and as the UCL final is at Wembley this year, they’ll be gunning to reach it considering they’ve lifted the title at that venue twice previously. Merely reaching the quarter-finals would be a step in the right direction though having been absent since 2019/20, and as Barça have won just one of their last ten UCL knockout games on the road (D4, L5), progress looks far from straightforward in this tie.
  • Players to watch: Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo assisted their equaliser at the weekend, making up one of an impressive tally of nine direct goal contributions this campaign (G2, A7). He’ll have his work cut out trying to keep Robert Lewandowski quiet, with the Polish international scoring four times in his last three matches.
  • Hot stat: Since matchday six of the UCL group stage, Napoli have scored before half-time in just two of their 12 matches.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – PLAY OFFS – 1/8-FINALS
Napoli – Barcelona
Kick-off: February 21, 21:00
Prediction: Under 3.5 Goals
Odds: 1.44@Bwin

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