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Lorenzo Insigne, Ivan Rakitic
SSC Napoli v FC Barcelona – UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

The Champions League is back! Barcelona play Napoli on Saturday with the score set at 1-1 after the first leg.

That first leg in Naples was a tight affair, but Barcelona’s away goal could prove crucial. The winners will face the winners of Bayern vs Chelsea – likely the former, as they hold a 3-0 lead going into their own second leg.

After disappointing league campaigns for both sides – Barça surrendering the title and Napoli finishing all the way down in seventh – they’ll be putting a lot of emphasis on the Champions League to turn their seasons around.

When is Kick Off? Saturday 8th July
What Time is Kick Off? 20:00 (BST)
Where is it Played? Camp Nou
TV Channel/Live Stream? BT Sport

Busquets will miss the game through suspension.
Busquets will miss the game through suspension. | Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Both Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal will miss the game through suspension, while Ousmane Dembele (fitness) and Samuel Umtiti (knee) are both out. Clement Lenglet (groin) and Antoine Griezmann (thigh) are also doubts, but they are both expected to start.

Napoli‘s only confirmed absentee is Kostas Manolas (ribs), but Nikola Maksimovic (ankle) and Lorenzo Insigne (adductors) are both doubtful.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Rakitic, De Jong; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann.

Napoli: Ospina; Hysaj, Di Lorenzo, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz, Demme, Zielinski; Callejon Mertens, Insigne.

Barcelona have been underwhelming since the restart.
Barcelona have been underwhelming since the restart. | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona have been pretty disappointing since the restart, surrendering the lead in La Liga to finish a full five points behind champions Real Madrid. Los Cules did end their season with a 5-0 dismantling of Alaves though, so that’s…something.

Napoli have had a generally underwhelming season too, with poor form at the start of the season seeing Carlo Ancelotti sacked. However, Gennaro Gattuso steadied the ship somewhat and won the Coppa Italia just after football’s return, restoring some pride to Naples.

Here’s how each side has fared in their last five outings.

Barcelona

Alaves 0-5 Barcelona (19/07)
Barcelona 1-2 Osasuna (16/07)
Valladolid 0-1 Barcelona (11/07)
Barcelona 1-0 Espanyol (08/07)
Villarreal 1-4 Barcelona (05/07)

Napoli

Napoli 3-1 Lazio (01/08)
Inter 2-0 Napoli (28/07)
Napoli 2-0 Sassuolo (25/07)
Parma 2-1 Napoli (22/07)
Napoli 2-1 Udinese (19/07)

Lionel Messi
Messi is rested and will be the man to make the difference. | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Barcelona have had some time off after a poor season for their standards, but they’ll come into this game having had almost three weeks to rest and prepare.

Napoli have struggled defensively and, with Manolas and Maksimovic both potentially out, they could have a really tough game on their hands. At the other end of the pitch though, Dries Mertens and Insigne are both in the kind of form that can threaten any team.

Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Napoli

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