Wednesday 15 Feb

Real Madrid vs Napoli Match Preview

15 Feb 2017 Stuart S. INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Champions League, Knockout stage
INTERNATIONAL CLUBS: UEFA Champions League, Knockout stage

Real Madrid

  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W


19:45 GMT
15 February 2017

SSC Napoli

  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

19:45 GMT 15 February 2017

The Real Madrid vs Napoli match will be played on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid.

This is the first leg of the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League Round of Sixteen. The second leg in Napoli takes place on 7th March 2017.

Real Madrid is 1st in the Spanish Primera Division while Napoli is 3rd in Italy’s Serie A.


  • Real Madrid hasn’t lost any of their last 10 Champions League matches
  • Napoli are unbeaten in their 3 away matches in this season’s Champions League
  • Real Madrid has scored in their last 40 matches in all competitions
  • Napoli are unbeaten in their last 18 matches in all competitions (W12, D6)
  • Real Madrid’s last 6 Champions League matches featured +2.5 goals


The two sides have only met once before in European competition.

In the 1987/88 UEFA Cup, Real Madrid won 2-0 in Madrid and sealed a 3-1 aggregate win with a 1-1 draw in Naples.


Zinedine Zidane’s plans for this tie were boosted with Gareth Bale targeting the second leg for a return from his long-term injury. Other than the Welshman, Real have no injuries reported.

Since suffering defeats in consecutive games to Sevilla in the league and Celta Vigo in the cup, Los Merengues have won 3 on the trot and go into this match top of La Liga by a point but with 2 games in hand on Barcelona.

Zidane never lost to Napoli as a player and is intent on keeping that record going in this tie. The defending Champions League winners experimented with a 3-4-3 formation at the weekend, with the principal aim of containing the prolific Napoli strikeforce.

The last team to knock Real Madrid out of the Champions League was an Italian club, Juventus winning 3-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in Madrid.

Latest matches: Real Madrid

11.02.2017 LaLi CA Osasuna Real Madrid 1:3 W
29.01.2017 LaLi Real Madrid Real Sociedad 3:0 W
25.01.2017 Copa Celta de Vigo Real Madrid 2:2 D
21.01.2017 LaLi Real Madrid Malaga CF 2:1 W
18.01.2017 Copa Real Madrid Celta de Vigo 1:2 L


Napoli arrives in Madrid with just Lorenzo Tonelli injured. Kalidou Koulibaly is the only Napoli player one booking away from suspension.

The Azzurri last failed to score in an away game at Atalanta on October 2nd, 2016. Since then, they have scored 25 goals in 9 matches, including 7 at Bologna in their last away match.

While Real are the favourites to win the tie, it may not be as straightforward as many are predicting with Dries Mertens in prolific form, scoring 14 in his last 11 appearances.

Napoli has lost one of their last 7 European away games but has yet to reach the last 8 of the Champions League. Having won their group, they may have hoped to avoid one of the competition’s elite teams but they Maurizio Sarri is relishing this tie.

The only Spanish side Napoli has eliminated from European competition is Valencia in the 1992 UEFA Cup. Since then, Villarreal (twice) and Athletic Bilbao have eliminated them from both the Europa League and Champions League.

Jose Callejon and Raul Albiol both previously played for Real Madrid, both of whom were members of Real’s title-winning side in 2012.

Latest matches: SSC Napoli

10.02.2017 Seri SSC Napoli Genoa FC 2:0 W
04.02.2017 Seri Bologna FC SSC Napoli 1:7 W
29.01.2017 Seri SSC Napoli US Palermo 1:1 D
24.01.2017 Copp SSC Napoli AC Fiorentina 1:0 W
21.01.2017 Seri AC Milan SSC Napoli 1:2 W


Napoli may be free-scoring but that will count for little when they step onto the Bernabeu turf. Dries Mertens may garner the headlines but Marek Hamsik is just 6 goals behind Diego Maradona in the list of the Azzurri’s all-time scorers, while Insigne and Callejon have contributed 17 goals. Between them, the quartet has scored 48 goals this season.

However, this is Real Madrid they face and having set the record unbeaten run for Spanish clubs this season, Los Merengues are intent of beginning another substantial run. Add to that the prospect of becoming the first side in Champions League history to successfully defend the trophy, and Madrid are surely motivated.

There’s something inexorable about their march to glory. The first winners of the trophy, the first to 5 and 10 victories in the final, the only club to win 5 in a row; would you bet against them lifting the trophy again in Cardiff?

About the author - Stuart S.

An English freelance sports writer, Stuart has written the Arsenal blog A Cultured Left Foot since 2006, as well as numerous betting previews and articles.

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