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Preview – Napoli vs Barcelona

Napoli, Barcelona
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Napoli and Barcelona lock horns in the Champions League round of 16, as they meet in the competition for the first time in history.

Napoli

Gennaro Gattuso, who won the UEFA Champions League twice as a player, will make his debut in the competition as a coach and he has Lionel Messi and Barcelona as opponents.

After a tough start to life in Naples, the former midfielder has finally started to get the best out of his player, as Napoli registered six wins in their last seven outings in all competitions.

Three of the victims are Serie A’s leading trio – Juventus, Lazio and Inter, which is definitely a big boost for the Gli Azzurri before the game against the Catalan giants on Tuesday evening.

Barcelona

Barcelona took over the lead in La Liga with a 5-0 win over Eibar, one week before the title showdown with Real Madrid, scheduled for next Sunday.

It was Barca’s third win a row, after a disappointing Copa del Rey exit to Athletic Bilbao at the start of this month.

Lionel Messi was the star of the night with four goals, as he completed a total of 1000 goals and assists combined in his career.

Click here to check out the team news and our predicted XI.

Stats

Napoli have qualified for the third time in the Champions League knockout stage. They have never went past the round of 16.

Barcelona have won only six of their last 16 away matches in European competition (D6 L4).

The Sky Blues have lost their last four two-legged ties against Spanish opposition: their overall record is W1 L5, the sole victory against Valencia in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round.

Last season’s victory at Manchester United is Barcelona’s sole success in eight away UEFA Champions League knockout games (D2 L5), since a 2-0 victory at Arsenal in the 2015/16 round of 16.