Start date: 09 Aug 2020 00:00
Venue: Camp Nou
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir, Turkey
Barcelona host Napoli on Saturday evening hoping to book their place in the Champions League quarter-finals.The Catalans will place even more importance than usual on the game given their disastrous LaLiga Santander campaign, which ended with them left empty-handed.A win will allow for some of their problems to be, at least temporarily, forgotten, but a defeat will only worsen their crisis.Failure to win the Champions League will bring even more problems to the Camp Nou, and their first step will be to overcome a Napoli side who themselves are coming into the tie in a difficult period.
But their problems don’t run as deep as Barcelona’s.Quique Setien is further away from his squad than any recent coach at the Camp Nou has been, while it’s clear that he hasn’t found the right mix on the pitch either.He’s been changing the system but hasn’t found one that has completely satisfied him yet and he knows that his future is up in the air.The Azulgrana have been hit hard financially by COVID-19 and conquering Europe would allow them to receive around 50 million euros, which could be used to make up some of the money they’ll need to sign Inter forward Lautaro Martinez.Barcelona come into the game with Napoli in an advantageous position after their 1-1 draw in Naples.But that advantage is slightly diluted by the game being played behind closed doors at the Camp Nou.Injuries and suspensions also give Setien some headaches and he’ll be turning to a number of youth players to pad out his matchday squad.Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez are likely to lead the line, though, and it’s expected that he’ll set out with a 4-3-1-2 formation.
Barcelona Champions League form: WWDWWD
Barcelona form (all competitions): DWWWLW
Napoli Champions League form: DWDDWD
Napoli form (all competitions): DWLWLW
Barcelona possible starting lineup:
Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Rakitic, De Jong; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann
Napoli possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Hysaj, Di Lorenzo, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Ruiz, Demme, Zielinski; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne
Current Barcelona squad is:
Forwards: Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suárez, Ousmane Dembélé, Ansu Fati, Martin Braithwaite, Francisco Trincão
Midfielders: Philippe Coutinho, Frenkie de Jong, Ivan Rakitić, Arthur, Arturo Vidal, Sergio Busquets, Riqui Puig, Rafinha Alcántara, Pedri, Alex Collado, Matheus Fernandes, Monchu, Ludovit Reis, Alejandro Orellana
Defenders: Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Nélson Semedo, Sergi Roberto, Clément Lenglet, Moussa Wagué, Junior Firpo, Jean-Clair Todibo, Ronald Araujo, Oriol Busquets, Chumi, Jorge Cuenca, Dani Morer, Oscar Mingueza
Goalkeepers: Marc-André ter Stegen, Neto, Iñaki Peña, Arnau Tenas.
Current Napoli squad is:
Forwards: Arkadiusz Milik, Dries Mertens, Hirving Lozano, Lorenzo Insigne, Adam Ounas, Matteo Politano, Fernando Llorente, Alessio Zerbin, Luigi Liguori
Midfielders: Piotr Zieliński, Fabián Ruiz, José Callejón, Allan, Eljif Elmas, Stanislav Lobotka, Diego Demme, Amin Younes, Antonio Illuminato
Defenders: Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam, Konstantinos Manolas, Mário Rui, Elseid Hysaj, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Nikola Maksimović, Kévin Malcuit, Sebastiano Luperto, Pio Schiavi, Giuseppe Esposito
Goalkeepers: David Ospina, Alex Meret, Orestis Karnezis, Hubert Idasiak