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Barcelona host Napoli in Europa League knockout playoff - get UEL 2021-22 fantasy tips and prediction

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FC Barcelona (BAR) will host Napoli (NAP) in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League knockout round playoff tie at Camp Nou on Thursday, February 17. The match will kick off at 11:15 PM IST.

BAR vs NAP Dream11 prediction

Barcelona will play their first UEFA Cup/Europa League game since 2004, and they will be eager to be on the winning side after the two legs.

The Blaugrana have had a topsy-turvy 2021-22 campaign so far, and are unbeaten in their last three games across competitions after a 2-3 loss to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey.

Napoli, meanwhile, have three wins and a draw in their last four games across all competitions. Furthermore, Gli Azzurri have been prolific in the Serie A this term, with just a couple of points separating them from current leaders AC Milan in the standings.

The first and only time Barcelona and Napoli faced off in a European fixture was in the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League round of 16. While Barcelona came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw in the first leg, the Catalans won the second leg 3-1 to advance on a 4-2 aggregate. While both teams can win Thursday’s clash on their day, Barca are likely to just shade the contest.

BAR vs NAP Dream11 team tips for UEFA Europa League 2021-22

Top tip: Best forward 

Napoli forward Victor Osimhen is an outright pick for this position. The Nigerian striker is Gli Azzurri’s top scorer this season with 10 goals in 18 matches across competitions. Osimhen has four goals in three UEL matches so far and it won’t come as much of a surprise if he was on the scoresheet against a frail Barca defence.

Top tip: Best midfielder

Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets will shoulder the heavy responsibility of breaking down Napoli’s movement from the midfield engine room. The veteran Spanish midfielder comes at a price of 9 credits and will be one of the key players to ensure Barca can hold their ground in the first leg clash against an enterprising Napoli team. 

Top tip: Best defender and goalkeeper

Kalidou Koulibaly is the top defender for the BAR vs NAP contest. The Senegal international is one of the few goal-scoring defenders in Europe and has tallied two goals as well as two assists in Serie A this season. Having averaged 1.6 tackles per game in UEL 2021-22 so far, Koulibaly is a must-pick for fantasy teams.

For the goalkeeper slot, David Ospina should be picked ahead of Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. With 11 clean sheets across all competitions, Ospina seems well-poised for another clean sheet on Thursday.

BAR vs NAP probable playing XI

BAR playing XI (probable): Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (goalkeeper); Sergino Dest, Gerard Piqué, Eric Garcia, Jordi Alba; Gavi, Sergio Busquets (captain), Pedri; Adama Traoré, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ousmane Dembélé

NAP playing XI (probable): David Ospina (goalkeeper); Mario Rui, Kalidou Koulibaly, Amir Rrahmani, Giovanni Di Lorenzo; Zambo Anguissa, Fabián Ruiz; Eljif Elmas, Piotr Zieliński, Lorenzo Insigne (captain); Victor Osimhen

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Featured photo: AFP / Lluis Gene

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