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(LIVE!-STREAM) FC Napoli vs Barcelona Live FreE On TV Channel



The UEFA Champions League returns to the fold with another set of matches this week as FC Napoli lock horns with Mikel Arteta's Barcelona side in an important encounter at the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday.




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Napoli vs Barcelona Stats: The Quick Hits

The Opta supercomputer predicts an Barcelona win, with the away side triumphing in 53.6% of pre-match simulations against Napoli.

Bukayo Saka has been involved in more UEFA Champions League goals this season (three goals, four assists) than any other player.

Napoli have been eliminated from seven of their eight Champions League knockout ties against English opposition.

Match Preview

Barcelona have not reached the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals since the days of Arsène Wenger but Mikel Arteta will fancy their chances as his side prepare to visit Napoli for the first leg of the round-of-16 clash on Wednesday at Estádio Do Dragão.

Wenger, now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, guided Barcelona to the final of this competition in 2005-06 but the Gunners have not passed the last-16 stage since overcoming Wednesday’s opponents back in 2009-10.

Flying high in contention for the Premier League title alongside Liverpool and Manchester City, Arteta’s new-look Barcelona have an opportunity to ease years of European pain after breezing through to the round-of-16 draw by topping Group B.

Barcelona hammered PSV 4-0 and Lens 6-0, as well as defeating Sevilla both home and away, with the north London club making light work of a favourable group-stage draw. Their European success can largely be credited to Saka, who has been involved in more Champions League goals this season than any other player (three goals, four assists), with the young Englishman averaging a goal involvement every 48 minutes in the competition so far.

Napoli were formed in 1893 and are the second most decorated team in the country, with 84 major honours. The first arrived in 1911 in the form of the North Portugal championship, and 11 years later they became the first national champions, while they also were the inaugural winners of the Primeira Liga in 1935.

After further successes in the 1930s, just four league titles would arrive across the next 45 years but the late 1980s would be the start of a period of huge success. Spearheaded by the goals of legendary striker Fernando Gomes, Napoli reached the 1984 European Cup final and then went all the way in 1987 by beating Bayern Munich.

Their dominance continued into the 1990s and 2000s as they won 14 titles, including a record five in a row between 1994 and 1999, while Jose Mourinho’s arrival as manager in 2002 saw them become a European force again as they won the 2003 UEFA Cup, and the following season captured the Champions League when they got the better of Monaco in the final.

Further European success came in 2011 when they lifted the Europa League during an undefeated league season, a feat they repeated in 2012/13. Recent years have seen them lift three of the last six championships, and they recorded a domestic cup treble last season but just missed out on a historic quadruple by two points to Benfica

FC Napoli vs Barcelona Preview

FC Napoli are currently in third place in the Liga Portugal standings and have not been at their best so far this season. The Portuguese outfit defeated Estrele Amadora by a 2-0 scoreline over the weekend and will be confident ahead of this fixture.

Barcelona, on the other hand, are in second place in the league table at the moment and have stepped up to the plate so far this season. The Gunners thrashed Burnley by a comprehensive 5-0 result in their previous game and will look to achieve a similar scoreline this weekend.

FC Napoli vs Barcelona Head-to-head and Key Numbers

Barcelona have a slight edge over FC Napoli and have won three out of the last six matches played between the two teams, as opposed to FC Napoli's two victories.FC Napoli have been eliminated from seven of their last eight knockout matches against teams from England in the UEFA Champions League, with their previous such victory coming in their triumphant 2003-04 campaign.Barcelona have won their three matches at home against FC Napoli in the UEFA Champions League but are winless in their three away games against them in the competition.Barcelona have not reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League since the 2009-10 season when they defeated FC Napoli by an aggregate 6-2 scoreline in the round of 16.Since the Round of 16 was introduced to the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona have been eliminated at this stage of the competition on nine occasions.

FC Napoli vs Barcelona Prediction

Barcelona have been in exceptional form over the past month and have scored an impressive 21 goals in their last five matches. Bukayo Saka has been in excellent goalscoring form this season and will be intent on adding to his tally this weekend.

FC Napoli can pack a punch on their day but have been a shadow of their former selves this season. Barcelona are the better team at the moment and should be able to win this game.

Prediction: FC Napoli 1-4 Barcelona

FC Napoli vs Barcelona Betting Tips

Tip 1: Result - Barcelona to win

Tip 2: Game to have over 2.5 goals - Yes

Tip 3: Barcelona to score first - Yes

Tip 4: Bukayo Saka to score - Yes

Gabriel Jesus has provided some much-needed continental experience for Arteta’s youthful side, too. In a run stretching back to November 2018 with Manchester City, the Brazilian striker has been involved in 20 goals in his last 18 Champions League starts (15 goals, five assists), while he’s been involved in six goals in four starts for the Gunners so far this term (four goals, two assists).

However, with a rare quarter-final appearance within touching distance, Barcelona must banish their last-16 demons of yesteryear. Since this stage was introduced in the Champions League in 2003-04, Barcelona have gone out at this point more than any other side (nine).

That woeful run of European luck includes exiting in each of their last seven appearances in the competition between 2010-11 and 2016-17, although Wednesday’s hosts Napoli are second in that same unwanted ranking with eight last-16 eliminations.

Barcelona’s team news largely remains the same: Jurriën Timber, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey are unavailable through injury, though former Napoli midfielder Fábio Vieira, Jesus and Takehiro Tomiyasu will likely be fit enough to make the squad for Wednesday’s kick-off.

Napoli battled their way through to second place in Group H – albeit level on points with table-toppers Barcelona – after defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 5-3 on Matchday 6 in a winner-takes-all decider for knockout-stage progression. Sérgio Conceição’s team overcame the Ukrainian side both home and away, as they did against Antwerp, while Galeno and Evanilson have led the way for the Portuguese side in UEFA’s top club competition, with the pair scoring four goals each.

However, a tough task awaits against the in-form Premier League side, who have smashed Burnley 5-0 and West Ham 6-0 in their last two away domestic outings. Napoli are third in the Primeira Liga table, four points behind Benfica and Sporting CP, after Galeno and João Mário scored in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Estrela Amadora.

Experienced defender Fábio Cardoso missed that domestic win through suspension but will be available for the first leg, while Alan Varela overcame an injury scare and also featured in Saturday’s league victory. Iván Marcano remains out, though, after suffering an ACL injury back in September.

Napoli vs Barcelona Head-to-Head

The last time Barcelona progressed past to the Champions League quarter-finals came with a 6-2 aggregate victory over Napoli in the 2009-10 campaign. Nicklas Bendtner scored a hat-trick at the Emirates for the Gunners in that tie.

The positive omens carry on for Arteta’s side, too, considering Barcelona have won all three of their home Champions League games against FC Napoli by an aggregate score of 11-0. However, they are winless in all three away games (D1 L2).

Napoli have also struggled against English sides in recent years, suffering elimination from seven of their eight such knockout ties in UEFA’s premier club competition, with the exception being a round-of-16 victory over Manchester United on their way to winning the trophy in 2003-04.

Victory for Barcelona here could be a good sign as well, given each of the last five teams to eliminate Napoli in the knockout rounds of the competition has gone on to reach the final that year – Juventus in 2016-17 (last 16), Liverpool in 2017-18 (last 16) and 2018-19 (quarter-final), Chelsea in 2020-21 (quarter-final) and Inter last season (last 16).

Recent Form

Napoli manager Conceição will want to keep it tight in the opening stages since Barcelona have scored more first-half goals than any other side in the Champions League this season, with 12 of their 16 strikes coming before half-time.

The Gunners have scored in the opening 45 minutes in each of their last 13 Champions League games as well, the longest such run in European Cup history, while Arteta’s men have managed 5+ goals in back-to-back away Premier League matches for the first time in the club’s history after smashing Burnley and West Ham.

The Estadio do Dragao was built as part of Portugal’s successful bid to host Euro 2004, and is named after the dragon that appears on the club crest and city’s coat of arms. It hosted its first game in November 2003 when Barcelona visited for a friendly, notable for Lionel Messi’s first appearance for the Catalan club.

It has a capacity of 50,033 and has regularly hosted Portugal international matches, and the opening game of Euro 2004 as well as a semi-final. It was also the stand-in venue for the 2021 Champions League final when Kai Havertz netted the only goal of the game to win the trophy for Chelsea against Manchester City.

The manager

With that imperious form in front of goal, expect an entertaining clash here, considering Napoli have also scored seven goals in their last two Champions League home games – against Shakhtar and Antwerp – as many as they had in their previous nine home matches in the competition combined.

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

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