It was a frustrating season for Barcelona as they lost their La Liga title off the back of a defeat to Osasuna at the Nou Camp, which also ended their 30-game unbeaten home run in the league.
That leaves this competition as their final go at silverware this campaign and should they fail, it would be the first time in over a decade that they’ve had a season without filling the trophy cabinet.
Meanwhile, Napoli are well below what they’d expect of themselves too domestically, having finished down in seventh in Serie A (their worst finish in over a decade).
However, they have improved slightly under Gennaro Guttuso, who took over in December from Carlo Ancelotti, even if they did finish in the same position as when he took over.
Gli Azzurri lifted the Coppa Italia last month after beating Juventus on penalties for their first bit of silverware in five seasons.
That successful spell was certainly down to some impressive form on the road and at neutral venues, winning an impressive six such games on the bounce when including extra time and penalties between February and June.
However, they’ve certainly experienced a dip having since gone W1-D1-L3 on their travels, as the two best sides they faced in that time (Atalanta and Inter) both downed them 2-0.
Barcelona To Beat Napoli
It’s well documented how the Catalan giants can be a little vulnerable on the road in Europe, and you only have to think of those performances in Rome in back in 2017/18 and Liverpool last season to get the idea.
Indeed, for such an elite outfit a record of W10-D9-L6 over the last five Champions League seasons including the current one) is hardly the sort of performances you’d expect, but back at the Nou Camp their form is something to behold.
They’ve won 43 of their 53 matches here in Europe since the start of 2010/11, with their solitary defeat coming against Bayern 3-0 after hammering them 4-0 in their own backyard.
Furthermore, they’ve won nine of their most recent 11 here across all competitions, conceding just six times and it will be a tall order to overcome them.
To further our interest in the Spanish outfit to win, they have an injury boost with Antione Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele returning to training ahead of the game this weekend.
By contrast, Napoli will hope their star creator and captain Lorenzo Insigne can recover from some physical discomfort he experienced in the last game.
Interestingly, looking at how home teams have fared following a 1-1 stalemate in the away opening leg in this competition, we can see that they’ve gone a favourable W8-D1-L3 in the return legs since 2010/11, which is enough for us to be confident in getting behind the hosts.