In what could be an all-out display on Tuesday night, Napoli and Barcelona will look to gain an early advantage in their Champions League last-16 tie when they met at the Stadio San Paolo in midweek.
While the Spanish giants may have shown some inconsistencies since opening the New Year, the Catalonia outfit did manage to pick up a thumping 5-0 win over Eibar on Saturday and are still seen to be one of the leading contenders to lift their first European title since 2015.
On the flip side, coming from behind to snatch what was a dramatic 2-1 win away at Brescia over the weekend, Napoli are another side who appear to finally be finding their feet under a new Head Coach.
Finding a route back into the top-six in Serie A, Gennaro Gattuso’s men have won six of their last seven matches across all competitions, including their last three appearances on the bounce.
In a battle between two sides who find the mood in their camps on the rise, you might be interested to know that seven of the combined 10 matches between Barca and Napoli in February have seen over 2.5 strikes and another high-scoring outcome in Italy can be found priced at 5/6 with Ladbrokes.
An Italian upset?
Although Napoli’s 3-2 defeat against relegation scrappers Leece earlier in the month may have caused the likes of club captain Kalidou Koulibaly to question his side’s mentality, the Blues have certainly bounced back in some style.
Battling from behind to pick up a 2-1 win away at Brescia on Friday, new boss Gennaro Gattuso has seen his side win six of their last seven matches across all formats and they should also be boosted by some very eye-catching European performances on home soil.
Including shocking many across the continent with a 2-0 win over title holders Liverpool back in September, Napoli have not lost a Champions League matchup at the Stadio San Paolo since November 2017.
If Gattuso’s side are to pull off what would be a real upset on Tuesday, then the former AC boss could be calling on Belgium winger Dries Mertens to lead their charge in midweek.
With five Champions League goals this year, the 32-year-old has also found the net in each of his last three European matches on the bounce, including a brace away at RB Salzburg in October.
You might be interested to know that betting offers like Mertens can be found at 8/5 with 888sport to extend on that tally in midweek.
Lionel Messi to steal the show?
While Barcelona might be struggling to find their best form since shocking many and appointing new boss Quique Setién, the reigning Spanish champions put in what was a thumping display over the weekend.
Putting five past Eibar and returning to the top of the La Liga table thanks to Real Madrid’s slip up on the road, fans around the Nou Camp have seen their side win each of their last three matchups on the bounce since their 1-0 defeat away at Bilbao earlier in the month.
Unsurprisingly, if Barca are to pick up an early advantage on Tuesday night, then there is no doubt that the former Real Betis boss will be looking to six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi to carry on from where he left off on Saturday.
Recording four strikes against Eibar over the weekend, the 32-year-old icon landed his 36th La Liga hat-trick at the Nou Camp and will once again lead the line out in Italy.
Now bagging 23 goals since opening the 2019/2020 campaign, you might be interested to know that Messi can be found priced at 4/5 with Paddy Power to once again find the net on foreign soil.
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