In two weeks’ time, Barcelona and Napoli will go head to head for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Catalans have the edge after the first leg, with an away goal in the 1-1 draw, and the pair meet again at the Camp Nou on August 8.
While Quique Setien’s side struggled in the final weeks of the LaLiga Santander season, Napoli are also finding it difficult to pick up some form in Serie A.
“Playing like this, in this way and with this attitude, we’re not even going to bother Barcelona in the Champions League,” Gennaro Gattuso said following Napoli’s recent defeat to Parma.
Gattuso’s side restarted their season with a trophy in June, beating Juventus in the Coppa Italia, but they’ve won just one of their last four matches in Serie A.
Napoli still have to play Lazio and Inter before the Italian domestic season finishes on August 2 – less than a week before their visit to the Camp Nou.
It’s a different story for Setien, though, who will have had almost three weeks to prepare for the game.
The Spanish coach, Lionel Messi and the rest of the Blaugrana squad have put their differences behind them for now, focused on having a successful Champions League campaign, first against Napoli and then in Lisbon.
Antoine Griezmann and Clement Lenglet will be fit for the last 16 second leg, but Barcelona will be without the suspended Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal, leaving them short in midfield.
Riqui Puig could keep his place in the starting line-up, but the Champions League is a different prospect to playing Alaves, especially when the more experienced Sergi Roberto is available.