Will Aubameyang Play in the UEL clash vs Napoli? Xavi Provides Update on Striker.
Xavi has provided an injury update on January signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of the Europa League clash against Napoli.
The Catalan giants find themselves in unfamiliar territory after dramatically slipping to the second tier competition after finishing third in Group E of the Champions League, behind Bayern Munich and Benfica.
In their first European tie below the Champions League since 2003, Barcelona have been boosted by the availability of Aubameyang, who is all too familiar with the competition.
“Aubameyang is good, and he trains really well,” said Xavi as quoted by BBC.
“He’s a player who can make a difference, he works well in spaces and makes good runs into the area.
“He’s put in performances in recent years that have been very good. I’m very happy with him, he’s working positively in our group, and he’s very professional.”
Having dropped to the Europa League, Xavi now says the competition offers an opportunity and another route to Champions League qualification next season.
Winners of the Europa League usually get a direct ticket to Europe’s elite club competition the following season.
“It’s an opportunity,” said Xavi. “The main objective for the season is to get into the Champions League for next year and there are two ways – finish in the top four in the league or win the Europa League.
There is a new format this season as the winner of the two-legged tie between Barcelona and Napoli will face a side that won their Europa League group in the last 16.
Napoli will by no means be a pushover in the game, as Luciano Spaletti’s side will go looking for only their fourth major trophy, excluding Italian cups.