Barcelona say they are ready for their crucial second leg clash with Serie A giant Napoli. They host the Serie A giants on Saturday in a fight for a spot in the Last Eight. The first leg ended 1-1 with Antoine Griezmann equalizing in the second half after Dries Mertens’ first half opener. Arturo Vidal was sent off late in the game played in February before the suspension of European football due to Covid-19.
Midfielder Frenkie de Jong is feeling hopeful having fully recovered from his injury. With the conclusion of the Spanish topflight league and a short break, the former Ajax man feels the team has recharged their batteries and are rearing to go.
He admits that playing just a game in the rest of the knockout phase is harder as any team can shock their rival compared to over two legs. He feels the changes in the game are new for everyone and the teams that move ahead deserve it.
In the first leg, Barca had several players behind the ball as they needed to be careful but Frenkie says this would be different when they host their opponents. Well, against Napoli in the second leg it might not be much different as the Italian side will come all out having lost out on Europe recently.
Juventus won the league as expected, Inter Milan forced a good finish to come second, Atalanta and Lazio had an overall splendid season picking up the other two Champions League spots for next season. Roma won four of their last five games to make Europa while Milan’s strong push since Project Restart earned them Europa League qualifiers ahead of Napoli.
Probably changing coach mid-season from Carlo Ancelotti to Gennaro Gattuso affected them but it has been an embarrassing season for the former top two side in the league. Napoli have started planning for next season with the addition of Victor Osimhen. There are reports of Roma’s Luca Pellegrini and Jeremie Boga of Sassuolo.
While they are not the favourites in the Champions League, they would want to go as far as possible to salvage this season so Barcelona should be ready.