The most glamorous fixture of UEFA Champions League Matchday 2 will take place in Naples on Wednesday (October 4, 12:30 AM IST) where the current Serie A title holders Napoli squares up against 14-time European Cup winners Real Madrid. Both teams kicked off their 2023/24 Champions League group stage with a perfect start, grabbing all three points. Napoli started their continental campaign with a win over Braga in Portugal a fortnight ago, whilst ‘Los Blancos’ had to rely on a late Jude Bellingham goal to defeat Union Berlin. Both teams will be looking to earn all three points as it may end up deciding who will be winners in Group C.
Napoli Team News:
Although the Partenopei may not be as strong as they were last season under their former manager Luciano Spalletti, Rudi Garcia’s team enters this match with a recent record of going unbeaten in their last four games, conceded only a solitary goal in their last three matches and netted eight in their last two. The Italian champions are sitting in third position in the Serie A standings with 14 points and are first in their Champions League group and the Azzurri will look to consolidate their group standings by beating the European royalties.
Real Madrid Team News:
Carlos Ancelloti’s side had a perfect start to their season, winning their first six games across competitions. Their only loss this season came in the Madrid derby, where they lost 3-1 but bounced back and won the next two matches without conceding. Their summer signing ‘Jude Bellingham’ has been sensational for his new club. The Englishman has hit the ground running and scored seven goals in his eight outings. The 14-time champions will be expecting a similar show from him as Los Blancos have won this trophy only once in the last five seasons. Napoli shouldn’t underestimate this Real Madrid side as they have a rich history in this competition and would look to become the European champions for a record 15th time.
The Azzurri will be lacking the services of three key players Juan Jesus, Amir Rrahmani, and Pierluigi Gollini as all three are suffering from injuries. There aren’t many changes expected from the eleven that played last weekend’s league fixture with forwards Victor Osimhen and Matteo Politano returning.
Possible Lineup: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Østigård, Natan, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zieliński; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia
Los Blancos have injury concerns of their own as they’ll be without the likes of Eder Militao, Thibaut Courtois, David Alaba, and Arda Guler. Ancelloti is expected to start with a 4-3-1-2 formation with Joselu alongside Vinicius Junior upfield with Bellingham just behind the front line. In midfield ‘Don Carlo’ can look to the services of veterans in Luka Modric and Toni Kroos but chances of both playing together look bleak.
Possible Lineup: Arrizabalaga; Carvajal, Rüdiger, Nacho, Camavinga; Modrić, Tchouameni, Valverde; Bellingham; Joselu, Vinícius Júnior
These two sides met last time in the Round of 16 clash in the 2016/17 season with Real Madrid beating them 3-1 in both legs. Napoli will be looking to get their first-ever win over Real Madrid. These two sides have met four times in European competition with Madrid beating the Italian side three times and one game ended in a draw.
Where To Watch:
The fixture between Napoli and Real Madrid will take place on Wednesday, October 4 at 12:30 AM IST and will be live on Sony Sports Network in India.
The match between Napoli and Real Madrid will be live-streamed on Sony Liv & JioTV in India.
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