Napoli managed to top Champions League Group B but were handed a tough assignment in the last 16 regardless in the shape of defending champions Real Madrid.
Italian teams tend to struggle on trips to Spain and in 18 knockout matches they have collectively won just once since 1996, but I still think the Partenopei can keep this tie alive, even if they fail to get a result at the Bernabeu this evening.
Real have not been in the best of form of late and they remain without key forward Gareth Bale for the first leg of this Champions League showdown.
Los Blancos were far from convincing in their 3-1 win at Osasuna last time out and they’ve failed to win in their previous three cup outings, having been dumped out of the Copa del Rey over two legs by Celta Vigo last month.
In contrast, Napoli head into this encounter in awesome form. The Serie A outfit are unbeaten in all competitions since a league loss to Juventus in October and they’ve managed 11 wins in their last 13 games.
Napoli have managed 17 goals in their last four away games, having knocked five past Cagliari and seven past Bologna, and they should be able to get on the scoresheet in the Spanish capital, but Real will probably prove too strong and can secure a slender advantage ahead of the second leg in Naples.
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