Next Wednesday, August 6, 2014 (11:00 AM Pacific), the Barcelona vs Napoli match will take place at the Stade de Genève, home of Servette FC in Switzerland, in a friendly that will serve both teams to prepare for the new season that is quickly arriving.
The clash against the Serie A historical team will be Barcelona’s third match in Luis Enrique’s era. The Asturian manager arrived this Summer after having developed a fantastic work with Celta de Vigo and has his hands full with the hard task of restoring the “identity” the Catalan side somewhat lost last term.
After winning the Trofeo Colombino at the expenses of Recreativo Huelva, Barcelona didn’t manage to grab anything better than a 1-1 draw against the French side of Nice after the match played last Saturday in France.
After a far from impressive season under the command of Tata Martino, Barcelona’s board decided that it was time to start from scratch and brought in a man that knows the club fairly well and that had an important role as Barcelona B head coach a few years ago. After a brief and unconvincing passage at AS Roma, Luis Enrique put up a fantastic work with Celta de Vigo last term, placing them among the ten best teams of the Spanish football league.
With Barcelona, things tend to be certainly different, however. Luis Enrique is already trying to solve some pending problems within his squad, while he is also bringing in some talented players in order to overcome the deficiencies the team presented last season. The arrivals of the skilled Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic and of the erratic Uruguayan forward Luís Suárez will certainly offer the Asturian manager plenty more quality options to choose from, although the former Liverpool forward is still banned from football until the end of October.
As for Napoli, the clash against the Blaugranas will represent their fourth preparation match this season. The Serie A side has won all their previous matches so far against PAOK, Kalloni and FeralpiSalo, and they appear to be on a very good moment, despite the early the stage of the season.
Napoli finished third at Serie A last season, as they weren’t able to pose any strong opposition to AS Roma and to the current champions, Juventus. This season, Rafa Benítez lost some important players, such as Pepe Reina who returned to Liverpool and the Swiss international Behrami who joined Hamburger SV yesterday. In order to mitigate such departures, Benítez will have to be able to count on the contribution of the versatile Spanish forward Michu, who arrived on loan from Swansea.
Barcelona vs Napoli Prediction
To sum things up, and since it is not particularly easy to point out any favourites to win the match at this stage of the season, this will certainly be a fairly interesting match between two sides with outstanding footballers and, at the same time, a great test for both teams. This being said, the most likely outcome is 2-1 for Barcelona.
Barcelona vs Napoli Television
The Barcelona vs Napoli match will be televised on beIn Sports at 11:00 AM Pacific.
Barcelona vs Napoli Lineups
Napoli (4-3-3) – Andújar – Henrique – Ghoulam – Koulibaly – Britos – Inler – Hamzik – Jorginho – Callejon – Pandev – Michu
Head Coach: Rafa Benitez
Barcelona (4-3-3) – Bravo – Patric – Piqué – Mathieu – Jordi Alba – Iniesta – Busquets – Rakitic – Pedro – Rafinha – Deulofeu
Head Coach: Luis Enrique