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Napoli concern about key man Osimhen

Napoli's injury concern ahead of crunch Europa League showdown with Barcelona

February 17, 2022 By Michelle Bonsu
The Partenopei look set to have to make do without one of their key attackers as they prepare to take on Barcelona in an intriguing Europa League tie.

Arguably, in past seasons, Napoli and Barcelona would be a tie fans would look forward to be seeing in the Champions League. However, this match will be played in the Europa League, a surprising turn of events especially for the Blaugrana who once dominated the continental football landscape.

In any case, the two sides are set to go head to head in a tantalizing round of 32 tie over two legs, meaning that one of these two teams unfortunately won't be featuring in the latter stages.

For Napoli, who are very much involved in the Scudetto race, the prospect of winning the Europa League also definitely be on their agendas.

Yet, heading into this contest, Luciano Spalletti's side will have a few concerns.

One is the availability of key winger Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian international only just returned to action after suffering a horrible facial fracture, but now has suffered a setback due to a knee injury. While he has been included in the traveling party to Spain, it doesn't look likely he will start, and even if he does get involved from the bench, it will all be contingent on him passing a late fitness test.

Given that Osimhen has scored four goals so far for Napoli in the Europa League, his absence will certainly come as a big blow for the visitors.

Especially considering that Napoli have struggled for results on the road. So far, they've lost their last four away European games in the knockout rounds, including their last trip to Camp Nou two years ago. 

That being said, Barcelona also have their worries, with Samuel Umtiti, Araujo, Memphis Depay, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, and Clement Lenglet all looking set to miss out - so Napoli just may be able to overcome their traveling woes and pick up a positive result from Thursday night's game.

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