Napoli vs Barcelona Prediction: Back both sides to score in Naples

 | February 20 | 

7 mins read

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Neither Napoli nor Barcelona have enjoyed great success domestically so far in the 23/24 season but Champions League progress could still see positives comes from this campaign.

Our Spanish football expert Mark Sochon got the assignment for this one, so check out his Napoli vs Barcelona Predictions in his full match preview...

Napoli vs Barcelona Betting Tips:

  • Back Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals @ 5/6
  • Back Robert Lewandowski to score anytime @ 11/8

Barcelona play their first Champions League knockout match in three years when they travel to Italy to take on Napoli on Wednesday. For both clubs, the competition represents a chance to salvage something from otherwise poor campaigns.

Given their respective struggles, it’s easy to forget that this is in fact a meeting of the current Spanish and Italian champions. Both won their league titles at a relative canter last term with Napoli winning Serie A by a huge 16 point margin while Barcelona finished 10 clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Barring any late season miracles, neither will be defending their crowns, with the fortunes of both clubs spectacularly declining in recent months. Neither are considered strong contenders in the Champions League either, but there is enough attacking quality in both camps to suggest that this could still be a really entertaining and competitive tie.

Barcelona come into the game in the better overall form. They’ve only lost one league game since the group stage ended and they’ve taken 10 points from their four outings since Xavi announced his intention to step down in the summer.

Evenso, it has been far from convincing. Their last two games have seen Barca held 3-3 at home by a seemingly relegation bound Granada side while they only won 2-1 at struggling Celta Vigo at the weekend thanks to a retaken Robert Lewandowski penalty in the 97th minute.

Defensively it has been a disaster at times with Barca keeping just five clean sheets from 26 matches in all competitions since their 1-0 win at Porto on matchday two in the Champions League group stage with 43 goals conceded over that period.

While they did make it out of a Champions League group for the first time under Xavi’s leadership, defeats away to Royal Antwerp and Shakhtar Donetsk don’t exactly inspire confidence heading into the trip to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Nor does Barcelona’s record in their most important domestic matches in recent months, with four goals shipped in games against Girona, Real Madrid and Athletic Club seeing them miss out on silverware in the two domestic cup competitions whilst falling off the pace in La Liga.

If it has felt like a soap opera on and off the pitch at times in Barcelona, then who knows what that makes Napoli.

Title winning boss Luciano Spalletti departed at the end of last term, initially on what was believed to be a one-year sabbatical, although he has since taken charge of the Italian national team.

Replacement Rudi Garcia struggled to recreate the magic of a glorious title winning campaign and was duly sacked in November with Napoli 4th in Serie A, but still on course to progress from their Champions League group thanks to important away victories over Braga and Union Berlin.

Enter Walter Mazzarri, returning for a second stint in Naples, a decade after his first ended. In theory, he represented a safe pair of hands to steady the ship, but it quickly became apparent that things were getting worse rather than better under his guidance.

Napoli have since plummeted to 9th in Serie A, winning just six and losing eight of their 17 games under Mazzarri who was himself sacked this week, just two days before this potentially season-defining tie.

Mazzarri has been swiftly replaced by Slovakia boss Francesco Calzona who is expected to combine both roles for the remainder of the campaign before he jets off to the Euros in the summer.

Team News:

The buildup to this game couldn’t have been much more chaotic from a Napoli perspective but the good news for the Italians is that they are doing a bit better on the selection front than their opponents.

The one big question mark surrounds striker Victor Osimhen. He didn’t feature in the 1-1 draw against Genoa on Saturday but has trained since and could be in line to play for Napoli for the first time in 2024, following his run to the AFCON Final with Nigeria.

Barcelona are still missing the likes of Gavi, Marcos Alonso, Ferran Torres and Alejandro Balde to injury. They have recently recovered goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen though, while Joao Felix is also fit enough to be part of the travelling party, although he’s highly unlikely to start the game.

Napoli vs Barcelona Odds:

With problems in both camps, this is the kind of game that will divide opinion amongst punters and it may just be a question of which team can free themselves of their recent woes and turn up on the night. Barcelona are slight favourites at 6/4 to win the game while Napoli are priced at 7/4 with the Draw at 5/2.

Recent Barcelona games certainly point to there being a few goals in this one and you can back Barcelona and Both Teams to Score at 16/5 while Napoli and Both Teams to Score is priced at 7/2.

The Total Goals market has Over 2.5 on offer at 8/11 while you can back Over 3.5 Goals at 7/4 and Over 4.5 Goals at 4/1 if you fancy this game to truly ignite. There have been four or more goals scored in seven of Barca’s last nine matches in all competitions.

You can also back Napoli to Score in Both Halves at 12/5 while Barcelona are priced at 11/5 to do likewise. Meanwhile you can get odds of 5/6 for Napoli to Win Either Half with Barcelona available at 8/11 in that market.

Bet 1 - Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals @ 5/6

Napoli met Spanish opposition in the group stage, losing 3-2 and 4-2 against Real Madrid, which may just be an indicator of the kind of tie we can expect here, particularly given Barcelona appear to have decided that attack is the best form of defence right now.

With so little time, it’s hard to see new Napoli boss Calzona really being able to stamp his mark on a side that comes into the game having failed to shut out either Verona or Genoa in home Serie A fixtures so far this month.

While it’s true that recent Napoli games haven’t exactly been goal fests, they have more than enough in terms of individual quality to cause problems for a shaky Barcelona defence that has run into trouble against even the worst teams in La Liga of late.

If anything, Xavi’s team appear more confident and more convincing in away games right now, so there’s little prospect of the Barca boss shutting up shop and playing for a draw to take back to the Estadi Olimpic. As a result, I can see an open game developing and I’m backing Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals at 5/6.

Bet 2 - Robert Lewandowski to score anytime @ 11/8

It’s not all doom and gloom for Barcelona right now with some positives to cling to, at least in the final third of the pitch. 16-year-old Lamine Yamal has been outstanding in recent games while Robert Lewandowski is looking as sharp as he has done all season, a timely boost heading into this tie.

The Polish forward has scored four in his last three games and has eight in 2024 which is a healthy return from ten starts. Providing Barcelona are able to get a foothold in the game and good service to their striker, he looks by far the most likely source of a goal in this one and I’m backing Robert Lewandowski to score anytime at 11/8.

Mark Sochon covers Spanish Football for us here at Betfred Insights. You can check out all of the Football Betting Tips from the team here on our Football home page.

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