NEWS
Tuesday February 25 2020
Line-ups: Napoli v Barcelona

Napoli look to Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon for their historic Champions League encounter with Barcelona, who start Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Arturo Vidal.

It kicks off at the Stadio San Paolo at 20.00 GMT.

You can follow all the build-up and action as it happens and give your views on the LIVEBLOG.

This is the first ever meeting between these two clubs in official competition and therefore Messi’s first time stepping into the Stadio San Paolo, which in the late 1980s and early 90s was a shrine to Diego Armando Maradona.

Gennaro Gattuso and Quique Setien both took the jobs only after the group stages were completed in December and this is their Champions League debut as coaches.

Kalidou Koulibaly and Fernando Llorente are injured, with Arkadiusz Milik and Elseid Hysaj not 100 per cent fit either.

Gattuso sticks with his favoured 4-3-3 formation, with Mertens flanked by Insigne and Callejon.

The Belgian is only one goal off the all-time club record of 121 goals in the Napoli jersey, set by Marek Hamsik.

Nikola Maksimovic again steps in for Koulibaly, while Fabian Ruiz is joined by Diego Demme and Piotr Zielinski, dropping Allan again.

Hirving Lozano is sent to the stands, not even considered a valid option for the bench, while David Ospina is once more preferred to Alex Meret.

Barcelona have several issues going into the game, missing Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba.

New signing Martin Braithwaite is not eligible to play in the Champions League.

In defence, Samuel Umtiti gets the nod rather than Clement Lenglet, with Nelson Semedo and Junior Firpo not their first choice full-backs.

Frenkie De Jong and Sergio Busquets are in the middle of the park with Ivan Rakitic stepping in for Arthur, while ex-Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal is preferred to teenage sensation Ansu Fati in the trident with Messi and Griezmann.

Napoli: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz, Demme, Zielinski; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne

Napoli bench: Meret, Allan, Elmas, Luperto, Politano, Hysaj, Milik

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Firpo; Rakitic, Busquets, De Jong; Messi, Griezmann, Vidal

Barcelona bench: Neto, Arthur, Lenglet, Ricard Puig, Fati, Roland Araujo, Akieme

Ref: Brych (GER)

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