Champions League: Preview Napoli vs Real Madrid, Tuesday 7 March 2017

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SSC Napoli Napoli – Real Madrid Real Madrid
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It’s the big match, NAPOLI vs REAL MADRID, the most important match so, far, for Napoli this season.     Here is the preview for Napoli – Real Madrid valid for the UEFA Champions League Group Round of 16, Second Leg on Tuesday 7 March 2017 at the San Paolo Stadium in Naples, Italy at 20:45.

Let’s start from the basic point:  The qualification for the Champions League Quarterfinal.  Napoli not only must win the match with more than 3 goals considering that Real Madrid won on the First Leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium with a 3-1 result.    The goals for Real Madrid were by Kraim Benzema, Kroos, and Casemiro while for Napoli the goal was scored by forward Lorenzo Insigne.

  • If Napoli win 1-0,  it won’t be enough for the qualification.  Napoli need at least a    2-0 victory to make it.   Needless to say that a 0-0, 1-1, 2-2, draw wont’ work either.

It’s tough to think that Real Madrid won’t be able to score at least a goal or just  play for the 0-0 result knowing they can qualify to the Quarterfinals with that result.    The  pressure is for Napoli to “go all for it like hungry lions” to overturn the  result.

Napoli need to coordinate well the midfield to provide forwards with goal opportunities.  The key player for me in this aspect is midfielder Marek Hamsik to move the pieces of the game.   It is the shining moment for strikers Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne to deliver historical goals to secure the qualification.  Insigne already scored against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

Challenge is also for Napoli defense Raúl Albiol and Koulibaly to be compacted and not allow space for Benzema or Cristiano Ronaldo to score.   Goalkeeper Pepe Reina must be at his best to be an iron wall.   It’s a tough  homework because Real Madrid have scored in their last 16 games.  The ideal scenario will be for Napoli to open the score in the first 15 minutes, that would be a BA BA BA BOOM to unleash Napoli fever and defeat the current Champions.  Real Madrid the absolute leader in Europe winning 11 Champions League while for Napoli it would be the first one….

Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri says that “Even if we have just 3% of the chance to qualify, we have to be focused on this goal”.   Well, my friends,  I will root for Napoli against all odds.  It’s a tough game because my favorite team in La Liga is Real Madrid.  Yet, when it comes to Italian teams in European competition, I definitely root for SERIE A teams. Come on Napoli!!!!!!!!  Forza Napoli.

Surely, the added boost for Napoli will be the fans at the San Paolo Stadium with their roaring  support “scatenare l’inferno”.

    • Napoli’s objective is to reach the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time.
    • Real Madrid have won their last six round of 16 ties

Probable lineups – formations   NAPOLI vs REAL MADRID

Napoli (4-3-3): Pepe Reina; Hysaj, Raúl Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Zielinski, A.Diawara, Marek Hamsik; Jose Callejón, Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne.

Coach: Maurizio Sarri

Real Madrid (4-3-3): Keylor Navas; Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Modrić, Casemiro, Kroos; Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Coach:  Zinédine Zidane


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Stats BEFORE the game.  Top scorer of NAPOLI: Forward Dries Mertens with 4 goals

Top scorer of REAL MADRID: Karim Benzema with 5 goals

Napoli Goals Goals Real Madrid
Mertens, Dries 4 5 Benzema, Karim
Milik, Arek 3 2 Morata, Alvaro
Hamsik, Marek 2 2 Cristiano Ronaldo
Gabbiadini, Manolo 1 2 Bale, Gareth
Insigne, Lorenzo 1 2 Varane, Raphael

Stats.  Her are the last 5 games of NAPOLI:  2 wins, 3 lost

04/03/17 SA Roma Napoli 1:2 27
28/02/17 CI Juventus Napoli 3:1 S
25/02/17 SA Napoli Atalanta 0:2 26
19/02/17 SA Chievo Napoli 1:3 25
15/02/17 UCLK Real Madrid Napoli 3:1 1/8

Stats.  Here are the last 5 games of REAL MADRID:  3 wins,  1 draw, 1 lost

04/03/17 PD Eibar Real Madrid 1:4 26
01/03/17 PD Real Madrid Las Palmas 3:3 25
26/02/17 PD Villarreal Real Madrid 2:3 24
22/02/17 PD Valencia Real Madrid 2:1 16
18/02/17 PD Real Madrid Espanyol 2:0 23


Match officials  NAPOLI vs REAL MADRID

It is Referee Cüneyt Çakır from Turkey to direct the game Napoli – Real Madrid.   Çakır  will be assisted by  Bahattin Duran (TUR) and Tarik Ongun (TUR).  The fourth official will be Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR).

There are 4 precedents with Referee Cüneyt Çakır directing a match with Napoli:

  • Europa League: Villarreal 2 – 1 Napoli, 24 February 2011
  • Champions League:  Marseilles 1 – 2 Napoli, 22 October 2013.
  • Champions League:  Atletico Bilbao 3 – 1 Napoli, 27 August 2014
  • Europa League:  Napoli 2 – 2 Wolfsburg, 23 April 2015


Called up players NAPOLI vs REAL MADRID

Here are NAPOLI official called up players by coach Maurizio Sarri for the Champions League Group Round of 16, Second Leg, Napoli vs Real Madrid on Tuesday 7 March 2017 at the San Paolo Stadium in Naples, Italy at 20:45.

To be added

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Here are REAL MADRID 22 official called up players by coach Zinedine Zidane for the game against SSC Napoli:

Goalkeepers:  Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla, Rubén Yanez.

Defenders:  Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Marcelo, Danilo.

Midfielders:  Kroos, James, Casemiro, Kovacic, Modric, Asensio, Isco.

Forwards:  Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vazquez, Mariano, Morata.



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UEFA Champions League ticketsUEFA Champions League Round of 16
Round of 16, Second Leg

Napoli – Real Madrid
Tuesday 7 March 2017
San Paolo Stadium
Naples, Italy