Undefeated at home in the UEFA Champions League for almost seven years, Barcelona will be confident of clinching a 13th successive quarter-final berth as Napoli visit the Camp Nou with their round of 16 tie level at 1-1.
• The first leg in Naples, the first ever meeting between the sides, ended 1-1, Antoine Griezmann scoring in the 57th minute to cancel out Dries Mertens’ first-half opener, a goal that made the Belgian Napoli’s all-time joint leading scorer.
• That draw preserved both teams’ unbeaten record in this season’s competition; however, while Barça have won their last 12 ties at this stage, Napoli are bidding to progress beyond the round of 16 for the first time.
• Barcelona finished with 14 points in Group F, four ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Half of those came at home, the Catalan club beating Inter (2-1) and Dortmund (3-1) and being held 0-0 by Slavia Praha – the first time they had failed to score in a home group game since 2012.
• Ansu Fati’s winner at Inter on Matchday 6 made him the youngest goalscorer in UEFA Champions League history, aged 17 years 40 days. He eclipsed the previous record, which had stood since 1 October 1997, set by Olympiacos’s Peter Ofori-Quaye (17 years 195 days).
• Barcelona are unbeaten in 35 UEFA Champions League home matches, a run that started in September 2013 (W31 D4); the 5-1 defeat of Lyon in last season’s round of 16 second leg eclipsed the previous competition record of 29 set by Bayern München between March 1998 and April 2002.
• The Blaugrana’s record at home to Serie A clubs is W18 D6 L2. They are unbeaten in their last 15 home fixtures against Italian visitors, winning 12, since losing 2-1 to Juventus in the 2002/03 quarter-final second leg.
• Spanish champions for the 26th time in 2018/19, their fourth title in five years, this is Barcelona’s 24th UEFA Champions League campaign, a competition record they share with Real Madrid. They have now reached the round of 16 or better for the last 16 seasons, winning their group every year from 2007/08 onwards. They are unbeaten in their last three group stage campaigns, and have come through their section undefeated a record 13 times.
• In 2018/19, Barcelona eased past Lyon in the last 16 (0-0 a, 5-1 h) and Manchester United in the quarter-finals (1-0 a, 3-0 h) before a 3-0 first-leg victory against Liverpool in the last four, only for the English club to turn the tables in stunning style at Anfield (0-4).
• Barcelona have been in the round of 16 every year from 2004/05 onwards, winning 13 of those 15 ties. They lost two of the first three ties, most recently against Liverpool in 2006/07, but have won their last 12 – recording a home victory in all 12 ties. They have never lost a round of 16 tie when playing the second leg at home.
• Barcelona won all three home games in last season’s knockout rounds, and are unbeaten in 14 knockout games at the Camp Nou (W12 D2), since a 3-0 loss to Bayern München in the 2012/13 semi-final second leg.
• Barcelona’s record in two-legged ties against Italian sides is W8 L5. They have lost their last two, both in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, against Juventus in 2016/17 (0-3 a, 0-0 h) and Roma the following season (4-1 h, 0-3 a).
• The Blaugrana have lost only two of their last 30 UEFA Champions League fixtures (W18 D10).
• Barça have been European champions on five occasions, most recently in 2015.
• Barcelona have recorded 26 away first-leg draws in UEFA competition, winning 21 of those ties on aggregate, including against Lyon in last season’s round of 16 (0-0 a, 5-1 h). They have won ten of the 12 ties in which they drew 1-1 in the away first leg, most recently against Chelsea in the 2017/18 round of 16 (3-0 h).
• Barcelona’s record in six UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W5 L1:
5-4 v AZ Alkmaar, 1977/78 UEFA Cup second round
3-1 v Ipswich Town, 1977/78 UEFA Cup third round
4-1 v Anderlecht, 1978/79 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round
5-4 v IFK Göteborg, 1985/86 European Champion Clubs’ Cup semi-final
0-2 v Steaua Bucureşti, 1985/86 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final
5-4 v Lech Poznań, 1988/89 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round
• Napoli finished second in Group E with 12 points, one behind Liverpool. They picked up five points away from home, drawing at Genk (0-0) and Liverpool (1-1) either side of a 3-2 success at Salzburg.
• Serie A runners-up for the second season running in 2018/19, this is Napoli’s sixth UEFA Champions League campaign – all in the last nine seasons – and the third to have extended into the knockout rounds. They reached the round of 16 in 2011/12 and 2016/17.
• Both those previous last-16 ties ended in defeat against the eventual winners; Real Madrid beat Napoli 3-1 home and away in 2016/17, five years after Chelsea turned round a 3-1 first-leg defeat in Naples with a 4-1 extra-time success in the return.
• Napoli have won only seven of their last 21 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D7 L7) – all those victories bar this season’s Matchday 3 success at Salzburg coming at the Stadio San Paolo.
• Having finished third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool in last season’s group stage, Napoli beat Zürich (5-1 aggregate) and Salzburg (4-3) in the UEFA Europa League before losing 2-0 away to Arsenal and 1-0 at home in the quarter-finals.
• This season’s win at Salzburg and the success at Zürich in 2018/19 are Napoli’s only victories in their last nine away European fixtures (D4 L3).
• Napoli have lost their last four two-legged ties against Spanish opposition: their overall record is W1 L5, the sole victory against Valencia in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round (5-1 a, 1-0 h), with that 2017 tie against Madrid the most recent.
• Napoli’s overall record away to Spanish opponents is W2 L5, with defeats on their last three visits. They have not won in their last seven matches against Liga sides, home and away (D3 L4).
• Napoli have lost all five ties in UEFA competition in which they drew the home first leg, most recently against Dnipro in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League semi-finals (1-1 h, 0-1 a). That was the second tie in which they drew 1-1 in Naples in the first game; the other came earlier that season against Athletic Club in the UEFA Champions League play-offs (1-3 a).
• Napoli’s record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
3-4 v Toulouse, 1986/87 UEFA Cup first round
4-3 v Sporting CP, 1989/90 UEFA Cup first round
3-5 v Spartak Moskva, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs’ Cup second round
Links and trivia
• Kostas Manolas scored Roma’s decisive third goal in that remarkable comeback victory against Barcelona in the 2017/18 quarter-finals.
• Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso faced Barcelona six times in the UEFA Champions League as a player with AC Milan (W2 D2 L2).
• Napoli’s January signing Matteo Politano came on a late substitute in both of Internazionale’s group games against Barcelona in the autumn.
• Have played in Italy:
Arturo Vidal (Juventus 2011–15)
Neto (Fiorentina 2011–15, Juventus 2015–17)
• Vidal’s Serie A record against Napoli with Juventus was W4 D2 L1, with two goals. Vidal also faced Napoli twice in the Italian Super Cup, winning in 2012 and losing two years later, and was in the Juve side beaten by Napoli in the 2011/12 Coppa Italia final.
• Have played in Spain:
José Callejón (Espanyol 2008–11, Real Madrid 2011–13)
Fabián Ruíz (Real Betis 2016–18, Elche 2017 (loan))
Fernando Llorente (Athletic Club 2005–13, Sevilla 2015–16)
Orestis Karnezis (Granada 2013/14 (loan))
Stanislav Lobotka (Celta Vigo 2017–20)
• Mário Rui was a youth player at Valencia in 2008.
• Have played together:
Arturo Vidal & Fernando Llorente (Juventus 2013–15)
• International team-mates:
Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto & Fabián Ruiz (Spain)
Arthur & Allan (Brazil)
Nélson Semedo & Mário Rui (Portugal)
• Diego Maradona represented both clubs, signing for Barcelona in 1982 and winning the Spanish Super Cup and the Copa del Rey in his first season. In 1984, after 38 goals in 58 games for the Spanish club, he joined Napoli, going on to win the 1989 UEFA Cup, two Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup with the Partenopei.
• UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Sergio Akieme, Kike Saverio, Rey Manaj (Albacete)
Out: Carles Aleñá (Real Betis, loan), Carles Pérez (Roma, loan), Abel Ruiz (Braga, loan), Jean-Clair Todibo (Schalke, loan), Moussa Wagué (Nice, loan)
• Barcelona lost 2-0 to Real Madrid on 1 March but regained the leadership of the Liga with a 1-0 defeat of Real Sociedad six days later.
• The loss at Madrid is Barcelona’s sole reverse in their last six matches in all competitions (W4 D1).
• Lionel Messi scored the only goal against Real Sociedad; he also got four in a 5-0 home win against Eibar on 22 February, and is the top scorer in this season’s Liga with 19 goals.
• Having reached the last six Copa del Rey finals and won four of them, Barcelona were eliminated from this season’s competition at the quarter-final stage, going down 1-0 at Athletic Club on 6 February.
• Luis Suárez has not played since the 3-2 defeat by Atlético Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final on 9 January, undergoing an operation on his knee which is expected to rule him out for four months.
• Ousmane Dembélé has been out since sustaining a thigh injury on Matchday 5; he has undergone surgery and is not expected to play again this season.
• Arthur has an ankle injury and has not played since the defeat at Madrid.
• Sergi Roberto has not played since 15 February due to an adductor issue.
• On 20 February Barcelona signed Martin Braithwaite from Leganés, the Danish forward agreeing a four-and-a-half year deal at the Camp Nou; he is not eligible for their UEFA Champions League squad.
• Barcelona also completed moves for Francisco Trincão (Braga) and Matheus Fernandes (Palmeiras) in January; both players will join their new club on 1 July.
• UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Diego Demme (Leipzig), Stanislav Lobotka (Celta Vigo), Matteo Politano (Inter, loan)
Out: Faouzi Ghoulam, Kévin Malcuit, Amin Younes
• Kostas Manolas made his 50th appearance in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, in the first leg.
• Napoli replaced coach Carlo Ancelotti with Gennaro Gattuso immediately after booking their place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16.
• The Partenopei lost four of their first five Serie A games after Matchday 6 but have won five of the last six, kicking off that run with a 2-1 home defeat of Italian champions and league leaders Juventus on 26 January.
• Napoli have picked up ten points from losing positions in Serie A away games this season, compared to none at home.
• Gattuso’s men also reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals by beating Serie B side Perugia 2-0 on 14 January and Lazio 1-0 in Rome the following week, Lorenzo Insigne scoring all three goals. A Fabián Ruiz strike gave them a 1-0 win at Inter in the first leg of the semi-finals on 12 February; the return was scheduled for 5 March before being postponed.
• The victory in Milan means that Napoli defeated the top three in Serie A – Juventus, Lazio and Inter – between 21 January and 12 February.
• Dries Mertens got the only goal in a 1-0 win at Cagliari on 16 February. The Belgian forward found the net again against Barcelona and has now scored 121 goals for Napoli, becoming the club’s joint all-time top scorer alongside Marek Hamšík.
• Goals from Manolas and and Giovanni Di Lorenzo earned a 2-1 Serie A victory at home to Torino on 29 February.
• Napoli have won five of their last six away games in all competitions but have recorded only five victories in their last 14 home matches (D4 L5). The defeat of Torino is only their second success in nine Serie A matches at the Stadio San Paolo (D2 L5).
• Kalidou Koulibaly has not played since suffering a thigh injury in early February. He is reportedly close to returning, with replacement Nikola Maksimović expected to be sidelined for three weeks with a calf injury.
• Lorenzo Insigne recently suffered a thigh injury in training.
• Kévin Malcuit, who has been removed from Napoli’s UEFA Champions League squad, is not expected to play again this season after damaging knee ligaments during a 1-1 draw with SPAL on 27 October.
Official UEFA Champions League Man of the Match award introduced
UEFA will give out an official Man of the Match award after every UEFA Champions League knockout stage game to recognise the top performers in Europe’s top club competition. UEFA Technical Observers at each UEFA Champions League game from the round of 16 on will decide who deserves the Man of the Match, with an official award being handed to the successful players after full-time in recognition of their roles in decisive moments, tactical maturity, creativity and inspiration, exceptional skill and fair play.