Barcelona vs Napoli Prediction: Gundo Can get a Shot on Target

 | March 11 | 

6 mins read

barcelona Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys scaled

Barcelona dominated the first-leg of this Champions League Round of 16 encounter, yet when the final whistle blew, they could only head back to Spain with a 1-1 draw having conceded to Napoli's only shot on target, late in the second half.

Our Spanish Football expert got the call for the second-leg and he provides his Barcelona vs Napoli predictions as part of his full match preview, which includes two bets, both at Evens or longer...

Barcelona vs Napoli Betting Tips

  • İlkay Gündoğan 1+ shots on target @ 7/5
  • Victor Osimhen to score anytime @ 9/5

Barcelona and Napoli meet on a potentially season-defining night for both sides on Tuesday at the Estadi Olimpic. It’s evenly poised at 1-1 from the 1st Leg and the game is live on TNT Sports 2 with kick-off at 20:00.

Both clubs won their domestic leagues last season but have struggled to reach anything like the same heights this term and the Champions League remains the last big hope in terms of either side salvaging their respective seasons.

Logic would dictate that Barcelona are in the box seat. They were the better team for the majority of the 1st Leg, displaying a level of control that we’ve rarely seen from them in La Liga this term. It wasn’t until the final 20 minutes that Napoli truly came alive with Victor Osimhen cancelling out Robert Lewandowski’s strike.

An away draw is invariably a good 1st Leg result in Europe. Barcelona would certainly have been confident of progressing when the Full-Time whistle went in Naples three weeks ago, but plenty has happened since to suggest that Napoli are far from out of this tie.

For starters, the Italian champions have found some form at last. New Napoli boss Francesco Calzona was thrown in at the deep end before the 1st Leg, with little more than a day to prepare his team for the game following the sacking of Walter Mazzarri.

However, Calzona started to get a tune out of this Napoli side in the games that followed with a 6-1 road win at Sassuolo followed by a 2-1 home victory over Juventus ensuring Gli Azzurri recorded back-to-back Serie A wins for the first time since September.

It wasn’t quite as impressive on Friday night as they stumbled to a home draw against Torino but Napoli remain unbeaten under Calzona and they will travel to Catalonia with cause for optimism.

Barcelona followed up on the draw in Naples with the 4-0 thrashing of Getafe in La Liga three days later in one of their most convincing performances of the season.

However, little has gone right for Xavi since then. A bruising trip to Bilbao ended in a goalless draw and with midfield regulars Pedri and Frenkie de Jong nursing injuries that will rule them out of the 2nd Leg.

Barca’s only match since then was on Friday night and ended in an unconvincing 1-0 home victory over Mallorca with 16-year-old Lamine Yamal producing a moment of magic to decide the game late on. The breakthrough of the teenager has been one of the few positives for the Catalan club this season.

Lamine Yamal looks certain to start this game while this feels like one of the most important evenings in the career of João Félix who is desperate to secure a permanent summer switch to the club and needs to produce his best football as Barca target a first Champions League quarter-final in four years.

Team News:

The hosts are dealing with a lengthy injury list right now. Midfield trio Pedri, Gavi and Frenkie de Jong are all out which means Xavi is extremely limited in terms of his central options. Andreas

Christensen is likely to continue in an unfamiliar holding midfield role with İlkay Gündoğan and Fermin Lopez likely to operate either side of him.

Alejandro Balde, Marcos Alonso and Ferran Torres are also carrying injuries and are unlikely to feature which will leave Xavi needing to name a youthful substitute’s bench. Robert Lewandowski should return to the eleven having been rested on Friday while Raphinha could play some part despite being forced off with a knock in the First Half against Mallorca.

As for Napoli, they could be in a position to name their best eleven as Calzona sees it with midfielder Jens Cajuste and forward Cyril Ngonge their only injury concerns.

Barcelona vs Napoli Odds:

Barcelona are the 9/10 favourites in the Full Time Result market with the Draw on offer at 13/5 and Napoli priced at 3/1. You can also take your pick between Barcelona to qualify at 4/11 and Napoli to qualify at 2/1 as the Champions League last eight line-up continues to take shape.

The 1st Leg was a bit more cautious and cagey than many expected, but Both Teams to Score still landed and it’s on offer at 4/6 on Tuesday night while you can back Over 2.5 Goals at 8/11.

Given Barcelona’s significant midfield selection issues, punters may like the look of Draw or Napoli Double Chance at 9/10 while you can back Over 1.5 Away Team Goals at 7/4.

If you fancy the hosts to take care of business, Barcelona and Over 2.5 Goals is priced at 7/4 while Barcelona and Both Teams to Score is available at 5/2.

Robert Lewandowski leads the way in the goalscorer markets. He’s 3/1 to score first and 13/10 to score anytime. You can also use the #PickYourPunt tool to back Barcelona to win and Lewandowski to score anytime at 7/4.

Bet 1 - İlkay Gündoğan 1+ shots on target @ 7/5

With the stakes high and seasons on the line, Barcelona and Napoli will need their big names to come to the party. One man who can normally be relied upon to rise to the big occasion is İlkay Gündoğan.

The German regularly delivered at the most important moments during his Manchester City career and scored four times in the Champions League Last 16 across his time in England. He’s also tended to perform in the big home games since moving to Barcelona last summer, with goals against both Real Madrid and Girona in La Liga at the Estadi Olimpic.

With no Pedri and no De Jong, Gundogan will be tasked with leading the Barca midfield and we can expect him to see plenty of the ball in this game. He should get into some good positions and I’m using the #PickYourPunt tool to back İlkay Gündoğan 1+ shots on target at 7/5.

Bet 2 - Victor Osimhen to score anytime @ 9/5

There has been a vulnerability to Barcelona for much of this season and with Villarreal scoring five on this ground in January and even lowly Granada managing three in February, Napoli will believe there are cracks in the home defence they can exploit.

There can be little doubt who their main goal threat will be. Victor Osimhen scored the equaliser in the 1st Leg and he’s bagged four Serie A goals since then including a hat-trick against Sassuolo.

That suggests the Nigerian may be getting back to the level that saw him score more than 30 times in all competitions last season and I’m backing Osimhen to score anytime at 9/5 here.

Mark Sochon primarily covers Spanish Football for us here at Betfred Insights. You can check out La Liga Betting Tips along with those from the rest of the Spanish Football writers on our La Liga home page...

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