Barcelona vs NapoliUEFA Champions League, KO: 20:00 Aug 8, 2020, Nou Camp
THE heat is on Barcelona heading into the second leg of this Champions League showdown with Napoli as they bid to salvage what has been a pretty disastrous season.
In the last few years, La Liga success has compensated for Barca's European shortcomings but this time it's the other way around as only Champions League glory can stop them ending the campaign without a trophy.
Not since season 2007-08 have Barca failed to get their hands on some silverware but they at least sit in a strong position in this tie, having drawn 1-1 in Italy (below) when they faced Napoli before lockdown.
Barcelona led Real Madrid by two points when La Liga resumed but won just five of their last nine games as their great rivals put their foot on the accelerator to race clear.
Napoli have also had a disappointing season and won't be playing Champions League football next term unless they dump Barca then go all the way to glory.
Having graced the top three in Serie A for the last four seasons, they could only finish seventh in this campaign, their worst league campaign for 11 years.
But Rino Gattuso's men at least finished the season in style, beating Lazio 3-1 last weekend, so they head to Catalonia in decent enough spirits.
How the bookies view it
Napoli have been written off by the bookies and they are 24/5 with William Hill to win on the night and 9/4 with Paddy Power to qualify. Barcelona are a best 2/5 with BetVictor to go through and 4/6 at Boylesports to win.
The draw is priced 16/5 with Bet365 while the same firm offer 10/1 on the tie going to extra-time.
Arturo Vidal is suspended for Barcelona, having picked up a red card towards the end of the first leg, while Sergio Busquets also misses out with a ban. Stopper Samuel Umtiti is injured while French forwards Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele are doubts, despite returning to training.
Napoli have injury worries in defence, with Nikola Maksimovic and Kostas Manolas doubts, while veteran striker Fernando Llorente has struggled with fitness since returning from lockdown.
Players to watch
As always, Barcelona will look to Lionel Messi for inspiration but he doesn't offer great value in the anytime scorer market at a best 5/6 with BetVictor. Instead, my money is going on Luis Suarez (below), who is 11/10 with 888Sport to find the net.
The Uruguayan has five goals from his last seven games and is also a boosted 5/1 with Paddy Power to break the deadlock.
Dries Mertens has been a Champions League talisman for Napoli, with his first-leg strike against Barca taking his tally to six in Europe this season.
The Belgian is clearly a man for the big occasion so he represents decent value at a boosted 3/1 with Paddy Power in the anytime scorer market.
Anything else catch the eye?
My tip of under 2.5 goals came up in the first leg but this match should be more open because Napoli need to score.
There was a goal in both halves in the first leg and we could see a repeat here but it's priced just 8/13 at William Hill. Backing just Barcelona to net in both periods increases the odds to 13/10 with the same firm.
The first leg was quite fiery so we could see a few bookings if things flare up again. Napoli stopper Kalidou Koulibaly, who has nine yellows and one red this season, is 11/5 with Unibet to pick up another card.
This UEFA Champions League match between Barcelona and Napoli will be played on Aug 8, 2020 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Barcelona vs Napoli prediction.