Barcelona vs Napoli | Saturday 8th August 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Another well-poised game takes place on Saturday night as Napoli head to Spain to take on Barcelona. The first leg ended one apiece in Naples and the away goal for Barca sees them still pretty clear favourites to progress, especially given they’re in their own back yard here. The bookmakers have them chalked up as best price 2/5 which probably looks fair enough however this is not a Barca side to be feared anymore.
The Blaugrana failed to win the La Liga title in an underwhelming season. Since Quique Setien came in there has been an obsession with keeping the ball without a real focus on peppering the goal, it’s more about controlling the game and wearing teams down mentally more than anything.
Strangely, no La Liga side average more than 15 shots per-game, seven Serie A sides averaged more than that. So although Barcelona average the second most shots per-game in their league it is still quite a paltry figure of 13.
Barca are an extremely patient side and with the away goal in tow I think they’ll be happy to knock it about the back and Napoli on the flip side may set up in a deep block and try break quickly when the ball is turned over. With that in mind, I’m inclined to go against the shot markets and the 17/20 offering from Marathon for Under 9.5 Shots On-Target looks like a nice angle in all things considered.
It landed in the last Napoli game despite their being four goals, it’s also landed in three of their last four. What’s more, there was only 15 shots in the first leg and just the six on-target. It’s also landed in three of the last four Barcelona games too.
I’ll happily dip into the Bet365 BetBuilder as we can get some 5/6 on Under 4 Goals and Both Teams Over 0 Cards and that’s of intrigue. Given the balance of the tie I can’t see it being a goal crazy match.
Both are likely to be happy with it being tight at least for the first hour or so. As far as the cards go, Barca have averaged just under three cards per game in the Champions League whereas Napoli average around two per game in this competition.
Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir has the whistle and it’s fair to say that he doesn’t take any s**t. In his last eight UCL games he’s given 4, 9, 4, 5, 6, 3, 5 and 6 cards. I expect him to be on top form again here and at least deliver a card a piece.