Napoli vs Barcelona Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Napoli vs Barcelona taking place? Thursday 8th August, 2019 – 00:30 (UK)

Where is Napoli vs Barcelona taking place? Hard Rock Stadium, Miami

What television channel is Napoli vs Barcelona on? This match will be televised live on Premier Sports

Where can I stream Napoli vs Barcelona? Premier Sport subscribers can stream the match via Premier Player

Where can I get tickets for Napoli vs Barcelona? Link

THE TEAM NEWS

NAPOLI

  • Napoli head to the States having shown good form in their last two pre-season matches with back-to-back wins against Liverpool (3-0) and more recently Marseille (1-0). Carlo Ancelotti has been delighted with the defensive performance of his team against both Liverpool and Marseille with clean sheets in both games.
  • Ancelotti is expected to give game-time to the majority of his squad, as he did against both Liverpool and Marseille where he made several changes at half-time and some more midway through the second half.
  • Piotr Zielinski is a doubt after he pulled out of the game against Marseille with flu. Kalidou Koulibaly is back in training after his Africa Cup of Nations exploits but is not expected to feature. Summer signings Manolas and Elmas are tipped to start.

BARCELONA

  • Barcelona travelled to the USA for their double-header against Napoli on the back of a 2-1 victory against Arsenal at the Camp Nou on Sunday with Luis Suarez scoring the winning goal as they retained the Joan Gamper trophy. This is their fourth pre-season match of the summer with a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea and a 2-0 win against Vissel Kobe on their trip to Japan preceding the fixture against Arsenal.
  • The main piece of team news for Barca is that Lionel Messi is out with a calf injury and is considered a doubt for their opening La Liga fixture. Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and Arturo Vidal could get their first taste of match action in pre-season after returning to training late due to their Copa America involvement, although transfer speculation surrounds Coutinho.
  • Summer signings Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann are expected to get more minutes under their belts as they settle into the team, whilst Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Sergio Busquets may both start having featured from the bench against Arsenal.

THE PREDICTION

This is the first of two matches between Barcelona and Napoli this week with an encounter in Michigan on Saturday following this game in Miami, and these are the final pre-season warm-ups for both teams before they begin their respective domestic league campaigns. Napoli are arguably more battle-hardened as they have played more games in pre-season but Barcelona had a good workout on Sunday against Arsenal so will be have benefitted from that. Barca have a lot of fine-tuning to do and are without their talisman Messi but they are still tipped to edge out the Italians in a close encounter.

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