Barcelona will take on Chelsea or Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the 2019-20 Champions League if they get past Napoli in the last-16.
Europe’s top competition was halted in March due to Covid-19 but will resume in August, with the draw for the final rounds made on Friday.
The games will take place in Lisbon in Portugal and will be single matches. The quarter-finals are scheduled for 12-15 August, the semi-finals for 18-19 August, and the final is due to take place on August 23 at the Estádio da Luz.
Barcelona must first see off Napoli to secure their place in the last eight. The Catalan giants drew the first leg of their last-16 tie 1-1 in Italy in February. The two teams will play the return leg at the Camp Nou on August 7 or 8.
Bayern Favorites to Progress
Bayern are hot favorites to get past Chelsea and make it through to a quarter-final against either Napoli or Barcelona. Hansi Flick’s side beat the Blues 3-0 in the first leg at Stamford Bridge, thanks to a Serge Gnabry double and a strike from Robert Lewandowski.
The German giants are also in the hunt for a treble. They have already been crowned Bundesliga champions for 2019-20 and also went on to beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 in the final of the German Cup.
It is the 20th time they have lifted the trophy and the 13th time Bayern have done the double. Yet the German giants have not tasted success in Europe’s top competition for some time and last lifted the European Cup back in 2013.
Barca Must Get Past Napoli First
Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli side will certainly be no pushovers. The team is sixth in Serie A currently and beat Juventus in June to lift the Coppa Italia, their first major trophy since 2014.
The Napoli boss spoke about how his team would be up for the fight in the second leg after holding Barcelona to a draw at the Stadio San Paolo.
“Nothing is over for us when we’re playing the last 16 in the Champions League, not even when we play cards. We know the difficulties we are going through. We will buy helmets and armour. We will get all the necessary [tools] and will play the next game. Nothing is over.”
Barcelona’s away goal gives them a slight advantage for the second leg, while their home record in the competition is flawless. The Catalan giants have not been beaten at the Camp Nou in European competition since 2013, a run that stretches to 35 games.
The hosts will have to cope without two influential midfielders for the match. Chile international Arturo Vidal was sent off late in the first leg and will miss out through suspension, while Sergio Busquets is also banned due to yellow card accumulation.