Napoli (NAP) will host in-form FC Barcelona (BAR) in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League 2021-22 playoff round clash at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Friday, February 25. The match will kick off at 1:30 AM IST.
Both sides head into the encounter with a lot at stake after the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou. While Napoli midfielder Piotr Zieliński opened the scoring in the 29th minute, FC Barcelona equalized after new signing Ferran Torres converted a penalty in the 59th minute.
NAP vs BAR Dream11 prediction
Xavi’s Barcelona will be high on confidence after they thrashed Valencia 4-1 at the Mestalla Stadium in La Liga over the weekend. The Catalan outfit have been on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions, registering three wins and two draws.
On the other hand, Napoli were held to a 1-1 stalemate by Cagliari in the Serie A on Monday. The Luciano Spalletti-coached side have also been in decent form, securing three victories and three draws in their last six matches in all competition.
Barcelona hold a superior head-to-head record against Napoli in all competitions, winning four of the seven matches that they have contested so far. Napoli have managed just a solitary win while two matches ended in draws.
Going by recent form and team combination, FC Barcelona are tipped to advance to the next round of UEFA Europa League 2021-22.
NAP vs BAR Dream11 team tips for UEFA Europa League 2021-22
Top tip: Best forward
New recruit Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started his FC Barcelona career in emphatic fashion as he scored a hat-trick against Valencia in the La Liga on Sunday. The former Arsenal forward showed why he is still high-rated in front of the goal as he converted his chances in the 23rd, 38th and 63rd minutes of the match. Aubameyang is a worthy fantasy pick for this clash as he will look to terrorize the Napoli defence in what’s a must-win match for Barcelona.
Top tip: Best midfielder
Midfielder Piotr Zieliński has been one of the standout players for Napoli in the ongoing season. The 27-year-old Polish footballer stunned the Barcelona crowd in the first leg as scored against the run-of-play. Having already accumulated 166 fantasy points, Piotr Zieliński, who has seven goals and five assists this season, is a must-have fantasy pick at 9 credits.
Top tip: Best defender and goalkeeper
Among defenders, Napoli center-back Kalidou Koulibaly will be the overwhelming choice. Koulibaly has been rock solid at the back alongside Amir Rrahmani, conceding just 18 goals in 26 Serie A matches this season - the least number of goals conceded by any team in the Italian league this term. Alongside his defensive credentials, Koulibaly has registered two goals and two assists in Serie A so far.
For the goalkeeper slot, FC Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen will be the preferred choice over Alex Meret of Napoli. The Barcelona custodian has been in great form for the Catalans in their last five matches, making some decisive saves in both La Liga and the Europa League.
NAP vs BAR probable playing XI
NAP playing XI (probable): Alex Meret (goalkeeper); Amir Rrahmani, Kalidou Koulibaly (captain), Juan Jesus; Mario Rui, Fabian Ruiz, Diego Demme, Eliot Elmas; Piotr Zielinski, Dries Mertens, Victor Osimhen
BAR playing XI (probable): Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (goalkeeper); Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Pedri, Sergio Busquets (captain), Frenkie de Jong; Gavi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ferran Torres
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Featured photo: Josep LAGO / AFP