The Champions League round of 16 resumes on Tuesday when Barcelona will attempt to topple an in-form Napoli and Chelsea host Bayern Munich in a reimagining of the 2012 European decider.
Napoli will attempt to slow Barcelona’s charge through Europe at the Stadio San Paolo after winning six of their last seven games, not to mention placing one foot in the Coppa Italia final after they beat Inter Milan 1-0 away from home in the first leg.
They’ll have to stop a rampaging Lionel Messi if they’re to manage that feat, and Gennaro Gattuso was full of praise for the Argentinian after he score four goals in a 5-0 thrashing of Eibar on Saturday:
Messi, 32, had failed to score in four straight league outings prior to that haul, though the top scorer (18) and assistant (12) in La Liga did register six assists during that time.
Moises Llorens of ESPN FC reported on Sunday that Barcelona’s players will be tested for fever following their arrival in Naples following an outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19, in northern Italy that caused the postponement of several Serie A ties.
Frank Lampard was Chelsea captain when they beat Bayern on penalties at the Allianz Arena in the 2012 Champions League final but now finds himself at the helm in the same fixture.
The two teams won’t go to extra time on this occasion but promise to set off fireworks once again. The Blues have won only two of their last six games, while Hansi Flick has led Die Roten on a relentless seven-match unbeaten streak across all competitions, winning all but one of those games.
Champions League Round-of-16 Schedule
Napoli vs. Barcelona – Tuesday, February 25 at 3 p.m. ET
Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich – Tuesday, February 25 at 3 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Juventus – Wednesday, February 26 at 3 p.m. ET
Real Madrid vs. Manchester City – Wednesday, February 26 at 3 p.m. ET