BARCELONA vs NAPOLI EUROPA LEAGUE DEBUT. OUR PREDICTIONS FOR TODAY.
Spanish giants Barcelona play their first ever UEFA Europa League match against Napoli on Thursday night.
The Catalans failed to progress from the Champions League group stages for the first time in 17 years, dropping to this competition.
They finished third in their group behind Bayern Munich and Benfica, losing thrice in the process.
Napoli on the other hand finished second behind Spartak Moscow in their Europa League group.
This is Barca’s only hope of silverware after being knocked out of the Copa del Rey and they are currently in fourth place in La Liga.
Barcelona last locked horns with Napoli in the last-16 stage of the Champions League back in 2020, running out 4-2 winners on aggregate. Can the hosts win to take an advantage into the second leg.
What time does Barcelona vs Napoli start?
The game kicks off at 17:45 UTC at the Camp Nou.
Barcelona vs Napoli team news
Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Ronald Araujo and Samuel Umtiti are all ruled out through injury and join Dani Alves on the sidelines.
Alves is not registered in the Europa League squad, while Memphis Depay and Clement Lenglet are doubts as well.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could have the chance to make his full debut, supported by Adama Traore and Ousmane Dembele.
For the visitors, Matteo Politano and Hirving Lozano are the only injury concerns.
They are boosted by the return of Kalidou Koulibaly and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who are back from AFCON duty.
Barcelona vs Napoli head to head
They have faced each other six times and Barcelona have been more successful, winning four times.
Napoli have won once and the remaining fixture resulted in a 1-1 draw back in 2020.
Barcelona vs Napoli current form
The home team has lost twice, won twice and drawn once in their most recent run of five matches.
The Italian outfit has only lost once in that run and won three times.
Barcelona vs Napoli prediction
With two legs on the cards in this encounter, Barca could grind out a narrow win on the night to take an advantage into the second leg.
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