Barcelona and Napoli meet in a heavyweight Europa League clash that has been dubbed the Diego Maradona derby. The Argentina great turned out for both clubs and won the forerunner of this competition, the UEFA Cup, with the Partenopei in 1988-99, while Barcelona are experiencing life outside the Champions League for the first time in 17 years.
Barcelona vs. Napoli Odds
1 – Both teams to score – 3/1
2 – Full time score 1-1 – 6/1
3 – Draw and both teams to score – 7/2
4 – Dries Mertens to score anytime – 7/4
5 – Over nine corners – Evens
Barcelona go into the game with Napoli as third favourites to win the Europa League outright, priced at 8/1, behind only Bundesliga powerhouses Borussia Dortmund and frequent trophy lifters Sevilla. Napoli are relative underdogs at 16/1 but an away win against the Catalans would surely see their price shift significantly.
It’s a similar story for this match in particular, as Barca are favoured to win on the night, with Napoli slightly longer in the running. Barca are also favourites to qualify from the two legs – but how much of that confidence is based on memories of Barca’s greatness, and not the reality of the team today?
Barca go into the game in distinctly mixed form, needing a last-gasp equaliser from Luuk de Jong to salvage a derby draw with Espanyol despite having taken an early lead. That came just a week after Barca downed La Liga champions Atletico Madrid 4-2, coming back from conceding an early goal to establish a 4-1 lead and hanging on when Dani Alves was sent off with 20 minutes to play.
Xavi Hernandez’s side also endured two cup defeats in a row in early January, losing in the Spanish Super Cup to Real Madrid and the Copa del Rey to Athletic Club, both after extra time.
It’s a different story for Napoli, who haven’t lost in their last four games, winning three of them. The only draw was last time out against champions Inter, and a win over the Nerazzurri could have seen Luciano Spalletti’s side go top of the table. Barca, by contrast, are way off the pace in Spain, some 15 points adrift of Madrid.
On form, then, it’s Napoli who would be favoured as Camp Nou isn’t the fortress it once was. Real Betis beat Barca in Catalonia in December and Alaves got a draw in October, as did Benfica in the Champions League in November. Napoli, meanwhile, haven’t lost away from home in all competitions since November.
The sides last met in the pandemic-impacted Champions League campaign of 2019-20, when a 1-1 draw in Naples in February was followed up by a 3-1 Barca win in August. They are the only competitive meetings between the sides to date, so a win for Napoli would be historic – and distinctly possible.
How to watch Barcelona vs. Napoli
Barcelona vs. Napoli will be shown on BT Sport in the United Kingdom, Paramount+ in the United States and DAZN in Canada.
Fans with access to those channels can view the game outside of the country with ExpressVPN.
Barcelona vs. Napoli last five matches
Barcelona last five matches
Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona – February 13, 2022 – La Liga
Barcelona 4-2 Atletico Madrid – February 6, 2022 – La Liga
Alaves 0-1 Barcelona – January 23, 2022 – La Liga
Athletic Bilbao 3-2 Barcelona – January 20, 2022 – Copa del Rey
Barcelona 2-3 Real Madrid – January 12, 2022 – Spanish Super Cup
Napoli last five matches
Napoli 1-1 Inter – February 12, 2022 – Serie A
Venezia 0-2 Napoli – February 6, 2022 – Serie A
Napoli 4-1 Salernitana – January 23, 2022 – Serie A
Bologna 0-2 Napoli – January 17, 2022 – Serie A
Napoli 2-5 Fiorentina – January 13, 2022 – Coppa Italia
Barcelona top goalscorers
Memphis Depay – 8
Luuk de Jong – 4
Ronald Araujo – 3
Ansu Fati – 2
Nico Gonzalez – 2
Napoli top goalscorers
Dries Mertens – 7
Victor Osimhen – 6
Lorenzo Insigne – 6
Fabian Ruiz – 5
Piotr Zielinski – 5
Barcelona vs. Napoli line-ups
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; Pedri, De Jong, Gavi; Adama Traore, Aubameyang, Ferran Torres.
Napoli (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Anguissa, Fabian Ruiz; Elmas, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens.
Barcelona team news
Barca coach Xavi Hernandez has a number of players unavailable, including Clement Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Araujo, Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati and Sergi Roberto. Sergi Busquets is expected to be given a rest for this game, while Dani Alves was left out of Barca’s Europa League squad as the club could only register three new players for the second half of the European campaign and chose Adama Traore, Ferran Torres and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of the Brazilian.
Napoli team news
Napoli coach Spalletti is juggling a few injuries of his own, with Hirving Lozano and Matteo Politano both missing from the attacking options. Stanis Lobotka won’t make it after injury, while Victor Osimhen has not taken a full part in training this week and could start from the bench.