Barcelona will look to begin their very first UEFA Europa League campaign with a win when they welcome Italian side Napoli to Nou Camp this Thursday in the first leg of their round of 16 tie of the 2021/22 UEL Season.
Venue: Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Barcelona have scored two or more goals in four of their last five competitive games.
The hosts have not kept a clean sheet in their last five home games.
They have scored just two goals in Europe this season (UCL).
Napoli are making a record-equalling ninth appearance in the UEL knockouts.
The visitors are currently on a four-game unbeaten run (W3, D1).
They have lost their last four European knockout away matches by a two-goal margin.
Head to head
Barcelona have been dominant in this fixture as they have won four of the six competitive meetings between both sides (D1, L1).
Latest performances in all competitions
After a shocking performance in the UEFA Champions League, Barcelona will look to redeem themselves by making the most of this opportunity in the UEFA Europa League.
The Nou Camp outfit finished third in their UCL group after winning just two group games and scoring only two goals. That disappointing run in their UCL campaign was part of the reason former manager Ronald Koeman was sacked. He has since been replaced by Barca legend Xavi Hernandez, who will be desperate to take his side far in this tournament.
Since his appointment, Xavi has improved his side. They come into this game with five wins from their last ten games. In that period they have lost no game inside 90 minutes.
Although their last outing saw them lose ground in the top four race as they snatched a point in a 2-2 draw with Espanyol. The game also saw one of their players (Gerard Pique) sent off, highlighting the indiscipline that is creeping into their squad.
They will welcome Napoli to Nou Camp, hoping for a better outing though.
Possible Barcelona starting line-up
Marc Ter Stegen; Sergino Dest, Eric Garcia Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri; Adama Traore, Ferran Torres, Gavi.
Injured: Ronald Araujo, Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati, Clément Lenglet, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti, Moussa Wagué.
Napoli will look to continue their impressive run of form when they face Barcelona in Camp Nou on Wednesday.
The Italian side are playing this stage of the tournament after finishing second in their Europa League group.
They are playing their ninth season in the UEL knockout stage and will be confident about progressing. But that will be largely dependent on their result in this venue, where they have failed to win on three attempts.
Luciano Spalletti’s side have conceded ten goals in three Nou Camp visits but will come into this tie confident of keeping their backline tight. They have kept three clean sheets from their last six games and have conceded over one goal just once in their last ten competitive games.
Possible Napoli starting line-up
David Ospina; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Juan Jesus, Amir Rrahmani, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz, Stanislav Lobotka, Piotr Zielinski; Matteo Politano, Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen.
Injured: Hirving Lozano
Doubtful: Axel Tuanzebe
Braca 1-1 Napoli