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Napoli vs Barcelona Predictions

  • 20:00
  • Expired
  • Stadio San Paolo
      • BT Sport 3

      Barcelona to Win

      6/5odds when tipped
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      Barcelona 2-1

      8/1odds when tipped
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      Napoli vs Barcelona Predictions

      • Since taking over at Barca, Quique Setién has won 7 of 9 matches.
      • Napoli have lost 4 of their 5 home Serie A games under Gattuso.
      • Barca have won 4 of their last 5 UCL games.
      • Among those victories were home and away successes against Inter Milan – who sit 18 points ahead of Napoli.

      Barca’s Italian Job

      Barcelona are among the most dominant teams in Europe, but they are looking to shake a surprising record on Tuesday night. Their last away win against Italian opposition in the Champions League knockout stages came in April 2006, when they beat AC Milan 1-0, courtesy of a Ludovic Giuly goal.

      Current Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso played in that game for AC Milan, but will he suffer at the hands of Barca once again? Both he and counterpart Quique Setién are making their debuts as managers in this competition in the last 16, with the odds firmly against this struggling Napoli outfit.

      Gulf of Experience

      Napoli have reached the Champions League knockout stages for the third time in six appearances. However, they have never progressed further than the round of 16. Meanwhile, Barcelona have progressed past the Champions League round of 16 in each of the last 12 seasons, the longest run in the history of the tournament. Liverpool were the last side to eliminate them in the round of 16, back in 2006/07.

      They haven’t converted those runs into wins, leaving a hunger for European glory among the Barca faithful. The visitors will be demanding more after pinning their embarrassing exits in recent years on Ernesto Valverde. The arrival of Setién could help them in that regard, having come in fresh from their failure and returned them to the top of La Liga, winning seven of his first nine games in charge.

      Fall of Naples

      Meanwhile, Gattuso hasn’t quite been able to galvanise Napoli in the same way. While he led them to another away win at the weekend, the Partenopei have lost four of their five home Serie A games under Gattuso. They are on course to miss out on the Champions League next term after a poor season, with those home losses compounding that. That doesn’t bode well for a major threat here, especially given how well the visitors played in order to get here.

      Barca went unbeaten through the group stage, winning four of the last five games. Among those victories were home and away successes over high flying Serie A side Inter Milan. We expect Barca to pull off another result in this trip, especially considering their great form. We are going for an away win as our first prediction for this last 16 tie.

      Barcelona have won 2-1 in three of their previous five matches in this competition, two of which came in their victories over Inter Milan in the group stage. On top of that, Napoli have only failed to score once in 20 Champions League games at their San Paolo stadium, a goalless draw against Dynamo Kiev in November 2016. As a result, we’re backing a 2-1 victory for Barca as our correct score prediction.

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