Napoli vs Barcelona: UEFA Europa League history, form guide, previous meetings

After an entertaining 1-1 draw at Camp Nou, Napoli and Barcelona continue to fight for a place in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 as they meet in southern Italy.

• Napoli finished second to Spartak Moskva in UEFA Europa League Group C in the autumn, clinching qualification with a decisive Matchday 6 home win against Leicester City. After 17 consecutive years in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Barcelona failed to progress from their group, picking up just seven points to finish third behind Bayern München and Benfica and advance to the UEFA Europa League for the first times.

Previous meetings
• A first leg in which Barcelona made their UEFA Europa League debut ended in honours, although visiting midfielder Piotr Zieliński’s 29th-minute goal was equalized just before the hour mark by a penalty from Barça’s new signing, Ferran Torres.

• Napoli and Barcelona, ​​the two former clubs of Diego Maradona, have only been paired once before in UEFA competition, in the round of 16 of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League. The encounter was interrupted for several months by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the first leg away to Napoli in February going 1-1 and the return leg at Camp Nou in August winning 3-1 for Barcelona.

• UEFA’s last 21 matches between Napoli and Spain have resulted in six wins, seven draws and eight defeats. At home their record is W3 D6 L1, with the only defeat coming five years ago when Real Madrid won 3-1 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 to complete a win aggregate 6-2. Napoli won the last such game, 2-1 against European debutants Granada in the second leg of last season’s UEFA Europa League round of 16, but lost the tie 3-2 on aggregate, thus establishing his all-time record in home and away matches. against Spanish W1 L7 teams with losses in the last six.

• Barça have already faced Italian clubs 61 times, winning 30 (D19 L12). Their record 28 away games is W8 D12 L8, with wins in two of their last three visits – UEFA Champions League success at Inter in 2019/20 (2-1), in which Ansu Fati is became the youngest goalscorer in the competition, and Juventus in 2020/21 (2-0). The Catalan side’s record in home and away matches against Italian opposition is W9 L5, this 2019/20 success against Napoli the most recent.

• Barcelona have faced Italian opponents in five UEFA finals, winning three and losing two. The most recent was a 3-1 win over Juventus in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League final in Berlin. They also lifted that trophy on Italian soil in 2009, beating Manchester United 2-0 in Rome.

Napoli vs Barcelona: The latest match news

Form Guide
• Napoli finished fifth in Serie A last season under Gennaro Gattuso, belatedly relinquishing fourth place and missing out on a fifth UEFA Champions League group stage in six seasons. So they returned, under new manager Luciano Spalletti, to the UEFA Europa League, where they won their group last season before being knocked out in the round of 16 by Granada.

• The 1988/89 UEFA Cup winner never failed to qualify for their UEFA Europa League group, winning six out of six this season, albeit second after losing at home (2 -3) and outside (1-2). to Spartak, who finished above them on a one-to-one record after the two teams finished tied on ten points. Napoli scored twice against Legia Warszawa (3-0 h, 4-1 a) while taking over Leicester (2-2 a, 3-2 h).

• Napoli’s ninth appearance in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage equals the competition record of Ajax and Olympiacos. They were knocked out five times in the round of 16, reaching the round of 16 in 2013/14, the quarter-finals in 2018/19 and the semi-finals, under Spain coach Rafael Benítez, in 2014/15 .

• The Partenopei’s home record in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 is W6 D5 L3. They have only won three of their last ten European home matches in the spring (D4 L3).

• Napoli have won all eight previous UEFA fixtures in which they have drawn the first leg, most recently beating Swansea City in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League Round of 16 (0-0 a , 3-1 h). Four of those eight successes came after 1-1 away draws in the first leg, the most recent against Boavista (2-1h) in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup second round.

• Barcelona were third in the 2020/21 Spanish La Liga behind Atlético de Madrid and Real Madrid, the first time they have finished outside the top two since 2007/08, when they also finished third. They did, however, claim a record 31st Copa del Rey win, beating Athletic Club 4-0 in the final.

• Last season Barcelona also failed to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2006/07, losing to Paris Saint-Germain in the round of 16 (1-4 a.m.). , 1-1 a). This season they scored just two goals – both won 1-0 against Dynamo Kyiv – finishing third behind Bayern (0-3h, 0-3a) and Benfica (0-3a, 0- 0h) in Group E. Head coach Ronald Koeman was sacked in October and replaced the following month by former midfielder Xavi Hernández.

• While this is Barça’s first UEFA Europa League, their last UEFA Cup appearance was in 2003/04, when Frank Rijkaard’s side reached the fourth round before being eliminated by Celtic (0 -1y, 0-0h). Barcelona have never won the UEFA Cup, nor reached a final, suffering semi-final elimination on four occasions – in 1975/76, 1977/78, 1995/96 and 2000/01.

• Barça have won just one of their last 11 European spring games outside Catalonia (D4 L6) – all in the UEFA Champions League. It happened against Manchester United in the first leg of the 2018/19 quarter-final (1-0). Their first European away game after Christmas in each of the past four seasons has ended in a draw, including that visit to Napoli two years ago.

• The Azulgrana have been held to a draw at home in the first leg of a UEFA fixture on 11 previous occasions, including five times. In a first 1-1 draw at home, Barca’s aggregate record is W3 L3, with the most recent case seeing fellow Spaniards knocked out Atlético de Madrid in the UEFA quarter-finals Champions League 2013/14 (0-1a).

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UEFA Europa League squad changes

In: Faouzi Goulam
Outside: Kostas Manolas (Olympiacos)

In: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Ferran Torres (Manchester City), Adama Traoré (Wolves, loan)
Outside: Sergio Agüero (retired), Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa, loan), Yusuf Demir (Rapid Wien, late loan), Iñaki Peña (Galatasaray, loan)

Links and stories
• Napoli midfielder Fabián Ruiz is a Spanish international who played in his native country for Real Betis (2014-18) and Elche (loan 2016/17).

• André-Frank Zambo Anguissa played on loan at Villarreal in 2019/20, losing both games against Barcelona (2-1a, 4-1h), while Napoli team-mate Stanislav Lobotka spent three seasons with Celta Vigo before joining the Italian side in 2020.

• Barcelona goalkeeper Neto knows Italian football well, having played for both Fiorentina (2011-15) and Juventus (2015-17). He kept goal for the Florence side in the 2014 Coppa Italia final defeat against Napoli, which the Partenopei won 3-1 thanks to two goals from Lorenzo Insigne and one from Dries Mertens.

• Mertens and Barcelona striker Memphis Depay were teammates at PSV Eindhoven from 2011-13. Also on the PSV schedule from 2017-19 were Barca’s Luuk de Jong and Napoli’s Hirving Lozano; they won the Eredivisie title together in 2017/18.

• Mertens has made 60 UEFA Europa League appearances, from group stage to final, one less than record holder Daniel Carriço.

• Napoli’s Eljif Elmas scored the winning goal past Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen as North Macedonia beat Germany 2-1 in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying in Duisburg on March 31, 2021.

• Barcelona new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who played youth football in Italy for AC Milan, scored his first European goal against Napoli in a 3-1 win for Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 6 of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League. He also started both matches for Arsenal in their 2018/19 UEFA Europa League quarter-final loss to Napoli (2-0h, 1-0a).

• Ferran Torres, another newcomer to the Camp Nou in January, scored both goals for Spain in their 2-1 win over hosts Italy in the 2021 UEFA Nations League semi-final. Insigne and fellow Napoli club Giovanni Di Lorenzo were on the Azzurri’s side.

• Luuk de Jong’s last UEFA Europa League appearance before the first leg of this tie was in the 2020 final, when he was named Man of the Match after scoring twice for Sevilla in their 3-2 win over Barcelona. ‘Inter, an Italian opponent.

• The first leg was the tenth successive European match in which Barcelona failed to score a goal. Indeed, they were the only home team in all eight first legs of the UEFA Europa League knockout stages to score less than two goals.

• Debuting in the competition, Barcelona became the 224th side to take part in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, and the 13th from Spain.

Shoot to the net
• Napoli’s UEFA record for three shots on goal 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

• Barcelona’s UEFA record for six shots on goal 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 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup second round
5-4 v IFK Gothenburg, 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 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup second round

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