Barcelona vs Napoli Champions League preview: where to watch, predicted line-ups, team news

Barcelona welcome Napoli in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 decider – all you need to know.

Napoli's Fernando Llorente in training on the eve of the game
Napoli's Fernando Llorente in training on the eve of the game SSC NAPOLI via Getty Images

Barcelona host Napoli in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on 8 August at 21:00 CET. This page will update with team news, quotes and expert analysis as kick-off approaches.

Barcelona vs Napoli build-up


Where to watch the game on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

What happened in the first leg?

First leg highlights: Napoli 1-1 Barcelona
First leg highlights: Napoli 1-1 Barcelona

Dries Mertens opened the scoring on 25 February with his 121st goal for Napoli, moving him level with Marek Hamšík as the club's all-time leading marksman, but was later forced off through injury. Antoine Griezmann turned in Nélson Semedo's cross for Barcelona's equaliser.

Possible line-ups

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Rakitić, De Jong; Messi; Súarez, Griezmann
Out: Busquets (suspended), Vidal (suspended), Dembélé (fitness), Umtiti (knee)
Doubtful: Lenglet (groin), Griezmann (thigh), Ronald Araújo (ankle)
Misses next game if booked: Griezmann, Messi, Semedo
Players added to squad: Cuenca, Reis
Players removed from squad: Sarsanedas, Saverio

Barcelona: story so far, profile

Napoli: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Mário Rui; Fabián Ruiz, Demme, Zieliński; Callejón, Mertens, Insigne
Out: none
Doubtful: Maksimović (ankle), Insigne (adductors)
Misses next game if booked
: Koulibaly, Llorente, Mário Rui
Players added to squad: none
Players removed from squad: none

Expert predictions

Graham Hunter, Barcelona reporter: Lionel Messi doesn't just dictate Barça's chances of continuing their 35-match unbeaten home record in this competition, the Argentinian determines the mood too. "If we want to win the Champions League we'll have to improve massively otherwise we can lose against Napoli," he said recently, challenging the squad. Central defence is a problem – not enough fit players – and midfield suspensions don't help. But captain Messi is rested, determined and ready to make the difference.

Vieri Capretta, Napoli reporter: The back line is the issue for Gennaro Gattuso. He is potentially without key defenders Kostas Manolas and Nikola Maksimović while his side have struggled to keep a clean sheet in recent weeks. However, Napoli will also need to score at Camp Nou and the form of the likes of Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne suggests that the Partenopei have the weapons to give Barcelona a difficult time.

Latest results

Barcelona
Form: WLWWW (all competitions, most recent first)
Where they finished: 2nd in Liga

Watch every Napoli Champions League goal so far this season
Watch every Napoli Champions League goal so far this season

Napoli
Form: WLWLW
Where they stand: 7th in Serie A, Coppa Italia winners

Napoli: story so far, profile

What the coaches say

Quique Setién, Barcelona coach: "We've prepared for the game diligently and I'm convinced we're going to get through and compete to make it to the Champions League final. It's going to be a tough game and we'll have to manage it well, choose the right moments in the match. If we keep the ball we'll give them less opportunities but we won't rule out going direct in search of a goal because we want to win it.

Gennaro Gattuso, Napoli coach: "We know the quality of Barça and we have to play a great game both technically and tactically. We know we have to play a great game and even then that might not be enough for us. Not having won anything gives Barça more strength. It gives them more hunger. I see it that way. They are a team that have been used to winning for many years. Tomorrow we must climb Everest. Lorenzo Insigne trained with the team today, I will speak to him and the doctors but if he is not 100% he will not play."

Form guide

Barcelona
• Barcelona finished with 14 points in Group F, four ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Half of those came at home, the Catalan club beating Inter (2-1) and Dortmund (3-1) and being held 0-0 by Slavia Praha – the first time they had failed to score in a home group game since 2012.

• Ansu Fati's winner at Inter on Matchday 6 made him the youngest goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history, aged 17 years 40 days. He eclipsed the previous record, which had stood since 1 October 1997, set by Olympiacos's Peter Ofori-Quaye (17 years 195 days).

Highlights: Inter 1-2 Barcelona
Highlights: Inter 1-2 Barcelona

• Barcelona are unbeaten in 35 UEFA Champions League home matches, a run that started in September 2013 (W31 D4); the 5-1 defeat of Lyon in last season's round of 16 second leg eclipsed the previous competition record of 29 set by Bayern München between March 1998 and April 2002.

• The Blaugrana's record at home to Serie A clubs is W18 D6 L2. They are unbeaten in their last 15 home fixtures against Italian visitors, winning 12, since losing 2-1 to Juventus in the 2002/03 quarter-final second leg.

• Spanish champions for the 26th time in 2018/19, their fourth title in five years, this is Barcelona's 24th UEFA Champions League campaign, a competition record they share with Real Madrid. They have now reached the round of 16 or better for the last 16 seasons, winning their group every year from 2007/08 onwards. They are unbeaten in their last three group stage campaigns, and have come through their section undefeated a record 13 times.

2018/19 round of 16 highlights: Barcelona 5-1 Lyon
2018/19 round of 16 highlights: Barcelona 5-1 Lyon

• In 2018/19, Barcelona eased past Lyon in the last 16 (0-0 a, 5-1 h) and Manchester United in the quarter-finals (1-0 a, 3-0 h) before a 3-0 first-leg victory against Liverpool in the last four, only for the English club to turn the tables in stunning style at Anfield (0-4).

• Barcelona have been in the round of 16 every year from 2004/05 onwards, winning 13 of those 15 ties. They lost two of the first three ties, most recently against Liverpool in 2006/07, but have won their last 12 – recording a home victory in all 12 ties. They have never lost a round of 16 tie when playing the second leg at home.

• Barcelona won all three home games in last season's knockout rounds, and are unbeaten in 14 knockout games at the Camp Nou (W12 D2), since a 3-0 loss to Bayern München in their 2012/13 semi-final second leg.

• Barcelona's record in two-legged ties against Italian sides is W8 L5. They have lost their last two, both in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, against Juventus in 2016/17 (0-3 a, 0-0 h) and Roma the following season (4-1 h, 0-3 a).

• The Blaugrana have lost only two of their last 30 UEFA Champions League fixtures (W18 D10).

• Barça have been European champions on five occasions, most recently in 2015.

• Barcelona have recorded 26 away first-leg draws in UEFA competition, winning 21 of those ties on aggregate, including against Lyon in last season's round of 16 (0-0 a, 5-1 h). They have won ten of the 12 ties in which they drew 1-1 in the away first leg, most recently against Chelsea in the 2017/18 round of 16 (3-0 h).

• Barcelona's record in six UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W5 L1:
5-4 v AZ Alkmaar, 1977/78 UEFA Cup second round
3-1 v Ipswich Town, 1977/78 UEFA Cup third round
4-1 v Anderlecht, 1978/79 European Cup Winners' Cup second round
5-4 v IFK Göteborg, 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final
0-2 v Steaua Bucureşti, 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup final
5-4 v Lech Poznań, 1988/89 European Cup Winners' Cup second round

1986 final: Steaua v Barcelona – the full shoot-out
1986 final: Steaua v Barcelona – the full shoot-out

Napoli 
• Napoli finished second in Group E with 12 points, one behind Liverpool. They picked up five points away from home, drawing at Genk (0-0) and Liverpool (1-1) either side of a 3-2 success at Salzburg.

• Serie A runners-up for the second season running in 2018/19, this is Napoli's sixth UEFA Champions League campaign – all in the last nine seasons – and the third to have extended into the knockout rounds. They reached the round of 16 in 2011/12 and 2016/17.

• Both those previous last-16 ties ended in defeat against the eventual winners; Real Madrid beat Napoli 3-1 home and away in 2016/17, five years after Chelsea turned around a 3-1 first-leg defeat in Naples with a 4-1 extra-time success in the return.

• Napoli have won only seven of their last 21 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D7 L7) – all those victories bar this season's Matchday 3 success at Salzburg coming at the Stadio San Paolo.

• Having finished third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool in last season's group stage, Napoli beat Zürich (5-1 aggregate) and Salzburg (4-3) in the UEFA Europa League before losing 2-0 away to Arsenal and 1-0 at home in the quarter-finals.

• This season's win at Salzburg and the success at Zürich in 2018/19 are Napoli's only victories in their last nine away European fixtures (D4 L3).

Highlights: Zürich 1-3 Napoli
Highlights: Zürich 1-3 Napoli

• Napoli have lost their last four two-legged ties against Spanish opposition: their overall record is W1 L5, the sole victory against Valencia in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round (5-1 a, 1-0 h), with that 2017 tie against Madrid the most recent.

• Napoli's overall record away to Spanish opponents is W2 L5, with defeats on their last three visits. They have not won in their last seven matches against Liga sides, home and away (D3 L4).

• Napoli have lost all five ties in UEFA competition in which they drew the home first leg, most recently against Dnipro in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League semi-finals (1-1 h, 0-1 a). That was the second tie in which they drew 1-1 in Naples in the first game; the other came earlier that season against Athletic Club in the UEFA Champions League play-offs (1-3 a).

• Napoli's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
3-4 v Toulouse, 1986/87 UEFA Cup first round
4-3 v Sporting CP, 1989/90 UEFA Cup first round
3-5 v Spartak Moskva, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round

Links and trivia

• Kostas Manolas scored Roma's decisive third goal in a remarkable comeback victory against Barcelona in the 2017/18 quarter-finals.

Recall Roma's quarter-final comeback against Barcelona
Recall Roma's quarter-final comeback against Barcelona

• Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso faced Barcelona six times in the UEFA Champions League as a player with AC Milan (W2 D2 L2).

• Napoli's January signing Matteo Politano came on as a late substitute in both of Internazionale's group games against Barcelona in the autumn.

• Have played in Italy:
Arturo Vidal (Juventus 2011–15)
Neto (Fiorentina 2011–15, Juventus 2015–17)

• Vidal's Serie A record against Napoli with Juventus was W4 D2 L1, with two goals. Vidal also faced Napoli twice in the Italian Super Cup, winning in 2012 and losing two years later, and was in the Juve side beaten by Napoli in the 2011/12 Coppa Italia final.

• Have played in Spain:
José Callejón (Espanyol 2008–11, Real Madrid 2011–13)
Fabián Ruíz (Real Betis 2016–18, Elche 2017 (loan))
Fernando Llorente (Athletic Club 2005–13, Sevilla 2015–16)
Orestis Karnezis (Granada 2013/14 (loan))
Stanislav Lobotka (Celta Vigo 2017–20)

• Mário Rui was a youth player at Valencia in 2008.

• Have played together:
Fernando Llorente & Arturo Vidal (Juventus 2013–15)

• International team-mates:
Fabián Ruiz & Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto (Spain)
Allan & Arthur (Brazil)
Mário Rui & Nélson Semedo (Portugal)

• Diego Maradona represented both clubs, signing for Barcelona in 1982 and winning the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey in his first season. In 1984, after 38 goals in 58 games for the Spanish club, he joined Napoli, going on to win the 1989 UEFA Cup, two Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup with the Partenopei.