Champions League Round of 16: FC Porto – Arsenal & Napoli – FC Barcelona

FC Porto team News

FC Porto have few injury problems ahead of their exciting match up with Arsenal. They will be happy to only miss Marcano, Zaidu and Taremi as they will need a strong performance and their key players to be fit  to have a chance against the English side. Young goalkeeper Ribeiro is also set to miss the match due to injury but he would likely not have played anyway.

Arsenal team news

Arsenal have a few more personal problems ahead of the matchup, with long term injured Timber and Zinchenko both set to miss the match while also Tomiyasu is unableto make it, adding extra problems at the back for Arsenal. Also Thomas Partey and starting striker Gabriel Jesus are deemed unfit for the match. Despite the injuries the Gunners are in great form and will travel to Porto with confidence.

FC Porto form

FC Porto come into the game with a bit of a slump in their form. The Portuguese giants are currently 3rd in the Portuguese League, 7 points behind eternal rivals Benfica. Porto only have won 1 out of their last 3 games, failing to win at home against Rio Ave(0-0) and falling to a surprise defeat away from home against Arouca, losing 3-2 in a very poor performance. Also in the champions league the Portuguese side were not very impressive, picking up 12 points in a group with Shakhtar Donetsk, Antwerp and Barcelona, losing twice to a far from strong Barcelona side. 

Arsenal form

Arsenal have been in incredible form, winning their last 5 games and scoring 21 goals in the process. An impressive 3-1 victory over Liverpool at home was especially notable while also the 0-6 trashing of West Ham in their own stadium was very impressive. In that game, Arsenal already led 0-4 at half time and completely outplayed last year´s Conference League winners. Last weekend´s 0-5 victory away from home against Burnley further emphasised their great form and confirmed their status as title challengers in the Premier League. 

What do the stats say?

  • Arsenal has won 5 games in a row
  • Porto have lost 5 points in their last 3 games
  • Porto have won last 2 home games against Arsenal
  • Arsenal have eliminated Porto in last 2 knockout ties

Our Verdict

Arsenal come into the match in great form with 5 convincing wins in a row scoring 21 goals and conceding only 2. Porto will not brim with confidence after 2 recent slip ups in the Portugese league but hope their home crowd can boost them during the clash. Their recent results against Arsenal inthe last years(2-1 and 2-0 win) will furher help them believe in a result. We think Arsenal will nick it but with the odds not too high at 1.62 it is a risky bet. 

Champions League Round of 16: Napoli – FC Barcelona

Napoli team News

Napoli can work with a full squad ahead of their last-16 tie with FC Barcelona. Only Zielinski will not feature as the Polish midfielder has been banished from the squad after not renewing his contract and his upcoming free transfer to italian rivals Internazionale. They could have used him dearly though given their struggles in the italian league and their humiliating 0-4 defeat at home in the Italian Cup against Frosinone. 

FC Barcelona team news

Contrary to Napoli, Barcelona has quite some personal problems ahead of the last 16 clash on the 21st of February. Left backs Alonso and Balde as well as midfield starlet Gavi will all miss the clash.  Yesterday doubtful Ferran Torres was added to the list of players to miss the game but there was also good news as Joao Felix could be fit to play. The Portuguese is one of the few positive surprises in this year’s Barcelona season after coming in on a loan deal last summer. 

Napoli form

With 3 wins in their last 10 games, it is safe to say that Napoli are not in the best of forms. Last year´s Serie A winners struggle heavily this season. They currently only sit in 9th position, 27 points behind leaders Inter Milan and also 9 points behind Atalanta that sit in 4th. Qualification to next year’s Champions League looks difficult and in the Coppa Italia they are also eliminated already.  Napoli only managed to score 3 goals in their last 5 games and fell to defeat 2 times. 

FC Barcelona form

Xavi already announced his departure from the club after the season following the disappointing results this season. Heavy home defeats to Girona and Villarreal and a crushing 4-1 loss to Real Madrid piled on the pressure on the Catalan side. 9 points behind in the La Liga and elimination in the Copa del Rey and Super Cup mean that the Champions League looks like the only way to win a trophy this season for Xavi´s men. However, in their current form they will not have many illusions about their chances of winning. Napoli in their current form could still be a doable hurdle but the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City look like a bridge too far for the La Liga Champions. 

What do the stats say?

  • Napoli won only 3 out of last 10 matches
  • Barcelona conceded 21 goals in last 10 competitive matches
  • Last 5 head 2 head games saw 3.4 goals per game on average. 

Our Verdict

Both teams are struggling and defensively are not as stable as last year. Napoli have conceded 28 goals in the serie A already and also let in 7 goals against Real Madrid in 2 matches. Barcelona are even worse form at the back, conceding 21 goals in their last 10 matches. We can see a high scoring match happen

Over 2.5 yes

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