Five things you need to know about Napoli v FC Barcelona
We take a look at some of the stats and facts surrounding the second leg of the Europa League play off in Italy
This Thursday Barça take on Napoli in Italy in the second leg of their Europa League play off. Following on from the 1-1 draw last week at Camp Nou in the first leg, both sides need a victory to take a place in the last 16 of the competition.
The Diego Armando Maradona stadium
A legend that united both clubs is Diego Armando Maradona. After a short but spectacular career at FC Barcelona, the Argentine legend cemented his legend in Italy by leading Napoli to unprecedented success both domestically and in Europe. The Serie A club recently renamed their stadium after 'El Pelusa' following his untimely death at the age of 60 in November 2020.
Unbeaten against Napoli
Barça travel to Italy to defend an unbeaten record against the club from Naples. The teams have met three times in European competition with the blaugranes boasting a record of one win and two draws. Only their only previous visit to Napoli Barça drew 1-1 thanks to a second half goal from Antoine Griezmann in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie in 2019/20.
What happens when Barça draw the first leg?
If we look back we can see that Barça have drawn at Camp Nou on six occasions in the first leg. The blaugranes have managed to make it through the tie on three of those occasions.
An opponent with injury worries
Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti has a little bit of a headache coming into the home leg against Barça. Zambo Anguissa, Lobotka and Kevin Malcuit are all missing due to injury, a list that already populated by Hirving Lozano and Tuanzebe.
Captain Lorenzo Insigne missed Napoli's 1-1 draw with Cagliari in Serie A at the weekend but coach Spalletti confirmed he would be fine to start in his pre game press conference on Wednesday in Naples.
Talent to spare up front
Napoli are the side with the greatest expected goals ratio in the Europa League on 15.8, ahead of Bayer Leverkusen (13.5), Betis (12.8) and Leicester City (11.7). Luciano Spalletti's team are top scorers in the competition this season on 16 goals, level with French club Olympique Lyonnais.