Barcelona vs Napoli Preview: Victor Osimhen, Adama Traore Expected to Light Up Blockbuster Europa League Clash

Barcelona vs Napoli Preview: Victor Osimhen, Adama Traore Expected to Light Up Blockbuster Europa League Clash

Babajide Orevba
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:56 PM
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  • Barcelona vs Napoli will see Camp Nou witness Europa league action after 18 years following their poor performance in the Champions League this season
  • The Catalan giants host impressive Italian side Napoli who will look to get results in the first leg on Thursday night
  • Adama Traore is the player to watch for Barcelona, while Victor Osimhen will be desperate to reconfirm his attacking position at Napoli with goals

Spanish giants Barcelona will begin their Europa League journey on Thursday evening February, 17 when they take on Italian giants Napoli at the Camp Nou.

The knockout phase of the competition is at hand and it is the first time the Catalan giants will feature in the competition after 18 years as they host Napoli for the first leg of their fixture.

Barcelona were far from impressive in the Champions League winning just one of their four fixtures and losing three to finish in the third position behind Bayern Munich and Benfica.

Barcelona vs Napoli
Barcelona vs Napoli set to light up Camp Nou. Photo: Francesco Pecoraro/Quality Sport
Source: Getty Images

This sets them up with a Round of 16 clash with Napoli who finished second in Group C of the Europa League, pitching themselves up with third in Group E of the Champions League.

Team news

The Spanish club will be without Dani Alves as they did not register the club legend for the knockout phase of the competition. Ronald Araujo who seems down with a calf injury is in doubt for the encounter.

Confirmed Barca players out of the encounter are Samuel Umtiti, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Alejandro Balde due to injuries.

Xavi Hernandez is expected to line his team up in a 4-3-3 formation in front of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Napoli will miss the services of a number of good players including Axel Tuanzebe who has been excluded from the Europa League squad.

Luciano Spalletti’s side will also be without Hirving Lozano, Stanislav Lobotka, and Matteo Politano due to injuries.

The Italian side will likely present a 4-2-3-1 formation at Camp Nou and look to pressure Barcelona to force turnovers in dangerous areas before hitting them quickly.

Probable Lineup as per The Hard Tackle

Barcelona (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Dest, Pique, Garcia, Alba; de Jong, Busquets, Pedri; Adama, Torres, Gavi

Napoli (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui; Anguissa, Ruiz; Elmas, Zielinski, Insigne; Osimhen

Arsenal desperate to sign Osimhen

Sports Brief earlier reported that English giants Arsenal are reportedly desperate in signing a new striker as Nigerian youngster Victor Osimhen is said to be on their radar.

The Gunners’ boss Mikel Arteta is hoping to improve his squad’s attack, but he will need to convince Italian side Napoli to sell the Super Eagles player.

It was gathered that Tottenham are also monitoring the player’s situation in Italy as Antonio Conte is also said to be interested.

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Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.