In the eight precedents in which the Azzurri have torn the same away from home in the first match, they have always passed the round. But without the away goals rule, the second leg will be a straight match
The absence of the away goals rule makes Maradona’s match between Napoli and Barcelona a dry match. With the advantage that Luciano Spalletti’s men will be able to take advantage of the crowd’s push to try to reach the round of 16 of the Europa League: the 1-1 at Camp Nou is an excellent result, now everything is played in 90 (or more) ) minutes. Kick-off on Thursday at 21:00, Russian referee Karasev will direct.
THE LATEST RESULTS
In Cagliari, the best version of Spalletti’s team was not seen: in Sardinia the third 1-1 in a row for Napoli arrived (sixth consecutive useful result in all competitions), after those with Inter and, precisely, Barcelona. While the team coached by Xavi is undefeated in the last month and comes from a convincing victory at Valencia, which came after the draw in the derby against Espanyol: the Catalans are fourth four points behind Betis, but with a match in less.
Naples and Barcelona have met three times in official competitions, with the Azzurri who – as noted by Oddschecker – have never managed to win. The first two precedents date back to the Champions League two years ago: the first leg ended 1-1 in Campania, with Griezmann replying to Mertens; the return was played in August after the lockdown: at the Camp Nou the Catalans won 3-1, eliminating the team then coached by Gattuso. But only one La Liga team has managed to win at Napoli in European competitions, out of 10 games played: Real Madrid, 3-1 in March 2017. And the Azzurri have passed the round in all eight previous matches in which they drew the first leg played away.
Napoli will be able to count on the thrust of the over 40 thousand spectators expected at Maradona, but for the bookmakers it is Xavi’s team that is slightly favored. According to Oddschecker, the operators consider Barcelona’s victory likely to be 39% against the 36% assigned to the home team; the breakeven instead is quoted at 25%. There is also a lot of balance in the assessments on the number of goals expected in this match: the option with more than two goals scored is considered slightly more reliable at 53%, while the Under 2.5 is given at 47%. Will both teams be able to score? This time the balance tilts more decisively towards yes at 58%, against 42% due to the possibility that at least one of the two formations remains dry.
February 22 – 6:20 pm
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