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Two teams that went through the group stage undefeated will clash against one another in the Champions League round of 16, when Napoli will host Barcelona. Napoli had a rather interesting run in the group stage but clinched their ticket to the next round. Barcelona were in a tougher group but managed to do a great job.
Date/Time: 2/24/2020, 15:00 EST
Spread: Barcelona -0.25
Total: 2.75 Goals
Napoli had to wait for the final match-day of the group stage to see if they would qualify. But a strong win over Genk (0-4) gave them the 2nd spot and the qualifying ticket (3-0-3). They even beat Liverpool in the first match-day by 0-2 at home. This is their sixth Champions League campaign and the third time that they reach this stage. Napoli have been mediocre in this competition lately, winning just seven of their last 20 Champions League matches (7-7-6). Moreover, they have won just six of their last 12 home matches in the competition (6-3-3). They have been great as hosts against Spanish sides (2-4-1) but have struggled qualifying from two-legged ties (W1 L5). Napoli will have a handful of injury concerns, with two strong defenders set to miss and two of their strongest forwards still considered as questionable.
On the other hand, Barcelona had a really tough group along with Inter Milan, Dortmund and Slavia Prague. But they did a great job and went through the group stage undefeated (4-0-2). They are now through to the round of 16 for the 16th straight season. And they have won just six of their 16 away matches in European competitions (6-4-6). Barca have a 7-7-11 record on the road against Serie A sides, and are actually win-less in their last eight matches in Italy (0-3-5). Barcelona’s record against Italian sides in two-legged ties is a solid W8 L5, but they have lost each of their last two.
Napoli did a great job to go undefeated in their group, but the team had a lot of struggles overall. They have been much better lately, but they will be missing a few key players. Barcelona have not scored a lot in the Champions League this season and this match could feature few goals. I will take my chances with the Under 2.75 Goals here.
Champions League Napoli vs Barcelona Prediction: Under 2.75 Goals (-108)
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