Xavi fears Osimhen threat ahead of Barcelona vs Napoli

Xavi Hernandez warns about Victor Osimhen || Image credit: Imago

Xavi fears Osimhen threat ahead of Barcelona vs Napoli

Faruq Ibrahim 16:35 - 21.02.2024

Barcelona boss Xavi Hernadez sweats over the threat of Osimhen and the unpredictability of Napoli having a new manager.

As Barcelona gears up for their pivotal Champions League clash against Napoli, Xavi Hernández's pre-match sentiments encapsulate the gravity and anticipation surrounding this fixture. 

Speaking to the media, Xavi acknowledged the unexpected coaching change at Napoli, the quality of their squad, and the challenges his team faces. 

Navigating Napoli's New Direction

Napoli replaced former manager Walter Mazzari with Francesco Calzona, aiming for stability after a surprising managerial change just 24 hours before their crucial Champions League match against Barcelona.

Xavi highlighted the element of unpredictability introduced by Napoli's sudden change in management. "Napoli changed the coach 24 hours before the game in a surprising way. With the change of coach, we do not know very well what the match will bring us," he admitted. 

The Challenge of Containing Napoli's Stars

The Barcelona coach was unequivocal about the threat posed by Napoli's standout talents, especially the dynamic duo of Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. "Osimhen and Kvaratshkelia are top-level players. For us, it is essential to defend well. It is difficult to stop Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen, and Politano," Xavi acknowledged, underscoring the defensive discipline required to neutralise Napoli's attacking prowess.

Napoli's Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen | Imago
Napoli's Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen | Imago

Barcelona are also having an underwhelming season like Napoli, with both teams failing in their bids to defend their domestic titles from last season.

However, in past Champions League encounters, Barcelona have had the upper hand against Napoli, notably progressing past the Italian side in the 2019/20 round of 16.

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