06.02.2017 » 7 reasons for Real Madrid to be careful about Napoli
The "warmup rounds" in the Champions League are long gone and it's now time to face the bigger challenges we've all been waiting for. Real Madrid, the reigning European champions, are looking to become to the first club ever to win back to back Champions League titles. In order to make a step in that direction, the Merengues will first need to overcome Napoli, their next opponent in the tournament. The Italian side are far from being an easy draw for Zinedine Zidane's men and thinking otherwise will certainly dictate a premature elimination. The first leg takes place on February 15 at the Santiago Bernabéu and the return leg will be played in Naples, on March 7. Fasten your seat belts!
Real Madrid vs Napoli - Champions League preview:
#1: Unbeaten streak
Real Madrid may have gone 40 games unbeaten recently, but they saw their run coming to an end last January and are not looking as solid as they were before. Ironically, it's Napoli who are now building their own unbeaten streak and their record has gone up to 17 games already. Can they manage to keep their run alive through the two ties against Real Madrid?
#2: Scoring machine
If there's one thing we should highlight in Napoli's game it's their attack. This season in the Serie A, the former Diego Maradona's club already found the net in 55 occasions in only 23 fixtures so far. If we account for all competitions, their numbers are even more impressive: 70 goals in 31 games. They only went goalless in 3 games this season...
#3: Comfortable playing away from home
It's usually the other way around, but with Napoli, games seems to have become easier when they don't play at the San Paolo stadium. No other team in the Serie has done better away from home and that's a key note Real Madrid should take into account with the first leg at the Bernabéu being right around the corner...
#4: Only 4 losses this season
Real Madrid only lost twice this whole season and even though those upsets may have happened recently, it's always a positive stat to look at in mid February. However, Napoli haven't been beaten that many more times... Maurizio Sarri's men only left the pitch with the bitter taste of defeat in 4 different occasions. That happened against Atlanta, Roma, Besiktas and Juventus. Hopefully, Real Madrid will add their name to that list.
He's the team's captain and he's in our opinion Napoli's best and most decisive player. Whether or not Hamsik will be capable of leaving his mark in these 2 games against Madrid, it's obviously hard to predict. But make no mistake — he's the danger man for Napoli.
#6: Impressive in-game stats
They're second in the league, but when it comes to scoring goals, shooting, passing and possession, they're second to none in the Serie A. They already scored 55 goals (the league leaders Juventus are second on that, with 45 goals), they total 406 shots, 13.250 succesful passes and they average 61.54% of ball possession.
#7: The "Spanish Armada"
Napoli has their own Spanish entourage in their ranks and that could prove to be a valuable asset in a 2-leg tie against Spain's most famous club. Reina, Albiol and Callejón will come into these games highly motivated and determined in helping their side beating the Spanish powerhouse. Especially Callejón, a former Castilla and Real Madrid player...
Cristiano Ronaldo next game is a La Liga fixture, on February 11 of 2017 against Osasuna. You can watch Juventus live stream, Osasuna vs Real Madrid, Barça vs Atletico Madrid, Manchester United vs Watford, Leicester City vs Derby County, and Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg, all matches provided from our football live game pages.
Real Madrid next game:
Osasuna vs Real Madrid kick-off time (11-02-2017):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 03:45
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:45
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 01:15
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-2: 17:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 15:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 12:45