Barcelona vs Napoli Preview: Team News, Predicted Lineups, What to Expect.
Barcelona will begin their Europa League journey today February, 17 when they take on Italian giants Napoli at the Camp Nou.
The knockout phase of the competition is at hand and it is the first time the Catalan giants will feature in the competition after 18 years as they host Napoli for the first leg of their fixture.
Barcelona were far from impressive in the Champions League winning just one of their four fixtures and losing three to finish in the third position behind Bayern Munich and Benfica.
This sets them up with a Round of 16 clash with Napoli who finished second in Group C of the Europa League, pitching themselves up with third in Group E of the Champions League.
The Spanish club will be without Dani Alves as they did not register the club legend for the knockout phase of the competition. Ronald Araujo who seems down with a calf injury is in doubt for the encounter.
Confirmed Barca players out of the encounter are Samuel Umtiti, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Alejandro Balde due to injuries.
Xavi Hernandez is expected to line his team up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Napoli will miss the services of a number of good players including Axel Tuanzebe who has been excluded from the Europa League squad.
Luciano Spalletti’s side will also be without Hirving Lozano, Stanislav Lobotka, and Matteo Politano due to injuries.
The Italian side will likely present a 4-2-3-1 formation at Camp Nou and look to pressure Barcelona to force turnovers in dangerous areas before hitting them quickly.
Probable Lineup as per The Hard Tackle
Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Garcia, Alba; de Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Adama, Torres, Gavi
Napoli (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui; Anguissa, Ruiz; Elmas, Zielinski, Insigne; Osimhen