Competition/Round: 2019-20 UEFA Champions League, Round of 16, Second leg
First leg result: Napoli 1-1 Barcelona
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal, Ousmane Dembélé, Samuel Umtiti, Martin Braithwaite, Arthur (out)
Napoli Outs & Doubts: Nikola Maksimovic (out), Lorenzo Insigne (doubt)
Date/Time: Saturday, August 8, 2020, 9pm CET (Barcelona), 8pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3pm ET, 12pm PT (USA), 12.30am IST (India, Sunday)
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Referee: Cüneyt Çakir (TUR)
How to watch on TV: CBSSN (USA), BT Sport 2 (UK), SuperSport 5 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), Movistar Liga de Campeones (Spain), others
So here we are. Three weeks after the end of the La Liga season, Barcelona are back on the pitch for the biggest match of the campaign: the Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Napoli at the Greatest Stadium on Earth.
It’s hard to believe that the first leg happened almost six months ago, but we must be glad that we’re even having a second leg while the world still struggles with a deadly pandemic. I am grateful to hear the Champions League anthem again, to watch my favorite team kick the ball filled with stars around, and maybe, just maybe, I can dream about Lionel Messi lifting the trophy with big ears in Lisbon in a couple of weeks.
But that is still a distant dream. Barça have a job to do against a really good Napoli team that finished the Serie A season in impressive fashion and have no fears against the Catalans. Gennaro Gattuso has surprised many with his coaching job in Naples, and this would be the biggest win of his young managerial career.
Napoli may not have their captain and emotional leader Lorenzo Insigne because of injury, but the rest of the team is talented, well coached and extremely competitive, and they’ll play really hard for 90 minutes.
Barça need to be sharp and intense from the jump, and they can’t sit on the 0-0 draw that is enough to see them through. Barça have to attack and defend well all game, and give themselves and the fans reasons to believe they can beat Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals.
This should be fun. And nervous. Actually, just nervous. Let’s freaking do this, Barça.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, De Jong, Roberto; Messi, Suárez, Griezmann
Napoli (4-3-3): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mário Rui; Fabián, Lobotka, Zielinski; Callejón, Mertens, Lozano
I have no idea how to feel about this one. I have zero confidence on this team but I also know they’re really good at home in Europe, and Messi is rested: 3-1 Barça.