Three talking points ahead of Barcelona vs Napoli

In over 24 hours, Barcelona will play their first UEFA Champions League knockout clash at home in three years. The past two seasons have not been easy for them from a European standpoint, but they have progressed to the Round of 16 this time around and have fared decently to this point.

Having played the first leg against Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium last month, the Catalans salvaged a 1-1 draw. They were the better side and should have inflicted a massive deficit on the Italians, but their inability to finish chances sees them on level terms with Napoli.

Tomorrow’s clash, thus, gains precedence as a must-win game for both defending league champions. Xavi’s men can claim to have a slight edge in terms of venue, but the match is well-balanced apart from that factor.

Barça Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Barcelona vs Napoli.

The home stretch

There was a time when Champions League knockout fixtures were feared at Barcelona. With back-to-back humiliations at the hands of Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Roma not providing any respite, the club was under immense pressure to step up in Europe.

What followed, however, showed one the value of the Catalans’ mere presence in the knockout stages. Two consecutive seasons in the Europa League did not stand well on the Blaugranas’ resume, and tomorrow will be the first time the Champions League returns to Barcelona for a knockout fixture.

Despite dominating the game in Italy last month, Barcelona brought home no tangible advantage after one defensive error helped Napoli equalise. Thus, they have everything to play for tomorrow and the only advantage Xavi’s men can boast of is having the game in Montjuic.

The Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys may not be as special as the Spotify Camp Nou, but it has served as a decent foster home while the primary stadium undergoes renovation.

Xavi’s side will thus not enjoy the entire thrill of playing in front of nearly 100,000 fans, but playing in…


Source link : https://barcauniversal.com/three-talking-points-ahead-of-barcelona-vs-napoli-2/

Author : Adithya Eshwarla

Publish date : 2024-03-11 16:54:50

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