BARCELONA face Napoli in Naples TONIGHT as they look to progress into the last 16 of the Europa League.
The Catalans were stunned by Benfica as they were knocked out of this season's Champions League group stage.
- Start time: 8pm GMT
- TV/Live stream: BT Sport ESPN
- Napoli XI: To follow
- Barcelon XI: To follow
Follow ALL the action with our live blog below…
To win in 90 minutes
*Odds from Betfair correct as of Tuesday, February 22
- Nyle Smith
Rewinding to seven days ago
Expectations levels were at a premium once it was confirmed that Xavi had gone with the trio of January signings, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the front three.
But it was Napoli who took the surprise lead in Spain, which came courtesy of midfielder Piotr Zielinski picking up the ball in a little pocket of space and smashing his strike past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen at the second time of asking.
Ironically, that goal came moments after an embarrassing miss at the other end by Torres and it wasn’t the only big opportunity he squandered that night by any stretch of the imagination.
However, the former Manchester City attacker was able to make up for his errors via the penalty route thanks to Juan Jesus’ handball trying to stop Traore’s cross.
With 30 minutes left to play, Barcelona found themselves in the ascendancy and were desperate to go into the second leg with a one goal advantage at the bare minimum but when Torres wasted another clear cut chance by blazing over the bar from closer range, it enabled Luciano Spalletti’s men to hold on for the draw.
- Nyle Smith
Welcome to Napoli vs Barcelona
Greetings to the beautiful SunSport community. I hope you are all staying safe and keeping well.
Last Thursday, we had episode one of an intriguing showing which admittedly didn’t quite go to plan for a certain Spanish outfit but fortunately, they didn’t have to wait too long for the sequel.
Our live coverage coming up includes Barcelona travelling to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium to take on Napoli in their round of 32 Europa League second leg.
Gli Azzurri have been going strong this season but they seemed to have hit a stumbling block in the past couple of weeks.
Napoli have gone three games across all competitions without a win and had Victor Osimhen not scored in the dying minutes of their last encounter, Luciano Spalletti’s men would have been going into this game off the back of an embarrassing defeat.
As for the 26x La Liga champions, despite being miles behind bitter rivals and league leaders Real Madrid in the title race, they are beginning to show signs of improvement.
Disregarding the 2-2 draw away to Espanyol, February has seen Barcelona put four past Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou and score four away from home last weekend against Valencia with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang taking the match ball home so they’ll be fired up and raring to go later on.
Stay tuned because on the way we will have any latest gossip, injury news and both teams’ first XI all before kick-off scheduled for 8pm UK time.
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