Champions League: Barcelona vs Napoli Preview, Prediction

Both teams, who won their respective league titles last season, are struggling domestically, with the Serie A champions currently in eighth place and the La Liga winners third behind Girona and Madrid
BACELONA VS NAPOLI
BACELONA VS NAPOLIGOOGLE

FC Barcelona will face Napoli in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 encounter at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on Tuesday.

The first leg between the two teams finished 1-1, and progressing past this round is critical for Barcelona's head coach Xavi Hernandez, since it is one of the club's primary goals for the season.
Both teams, who won their respective league titles last season, are struggling domestically, with the Serie A champions currently in eighth place and the La Liga winners third behind Girona and Real Madrid.

Xavi was dealt a severe setback last month when two of Barcelona's key players, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, were ruled out due to injuries sustained in a La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao. Furthermore, SPORT reported on Monday that Spanish attacker Ferran Torres will miss the encounter against the Italians.

Aside from these three, Marcos Alonso and Alejandro Balde will miss the encounter.

Napoli, on the other hand, is not dealing with an injury problem, but they will be without two players: Jens-Lys Cajuste and Cyril Ngonge. Their head coach, Francesco Calzona, will not make many changes to the team that began with a 1-1 draw against Torino over the weekend.

PREDICTION

It will, undoubtedly, be a tight contest. Despite Barcelona's domination in the first leg, the home team avoided defeat, and their game strategy will be the same this time, which is to sit back and punish the Catalan giants on the counter-attack. Barcelona's poor defense might cause problems for them, especially since they are missing De Jong and Pedri, two players who bring much-needed balance to the team.

Prediction: Barcelona 1-2 Napoli

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