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Granada vs Napoli prediction, preview, team news and more | UEFA Europa League 2020-21

Granada get ready to welcome Napoli for Europa League knockout tie
Granada get ready to welcome Napoli for Europa League knockout tie
Mihir Gawade
ANALYST
Modified 16 Feb 2021
Preview
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La Liga outfit Granada welcome Serie A giants Napoli to the Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes on Thursday as Europa League action returns.

The match between the Italian and Spanish opponents is the first leg of the competition's round of 32.

Thursday night football isn't as attractive for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. However, for a side like Granada to achieve European football in their first year back in La Liga is way beyond expectations.

Diego Martinez's side have been defying expectations for two seasons in the Spanish top-flight. They managed to replicate that form in Europe, qualifying for the knockout stages by finishing second in their group behind PSV.

Napoli have been pretty inconsistent in Serie A this season as they continue to challenge for a Champions League qualification spot.

But the Italians comfortably finished on top of their group in the Europa League. They are among the favorites to take the Europa League title route into next season's Champions League if they fail to qualify through Serie A.

Napoli gained some much-needed confidence from their 1-0 win over Serie A champions Juventus on Saturday.

A Lorenzo Insigne penalty and rigid defense from Gennaro Gattuso's backline helped the Naples-based club keep their top-four hopes alive.

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Granada vs Napoli Head-to-Head

Granada and Napoli have never played each other before in an official competition.

Granada form guide (all competitions): L-D-L-D-W

Napoli form guide (all competitions): W-L-L-D-W


Granada vs Napoli Team News

Granada

Diego Martinez is dealing with a host of injury problems. Luis Suarez, Roberto Soldado and Quini are sidelined, making up a total of five first-team players on Granada's injury list.

Injuries: Neyder Lozano, Luis Javier Suarez, Roberto Soldado, Quini, Luis Milla.

Suspensions: None

Napoli

Hirving Lozano and Giovanni Di Lorenzo have picked up knocks from the Juve game. David Ospina will also miss Napoli's trip to Granada on Thursday.

Gennaro Gattuso was already missing six other key first-team players, including talisman Dries Mertens, who is nursing an ankle injury. Meanwhile, first-choice centre-back pairing Kalidou Koulibaly and Kostas Manolas are also out injured.

Injuries: Hirving Lozano, David Ospina, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Diego Demme, Elseid Hysaj, Kostas Manolas, Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam, Dries Mertens.

Suspensions: None


Granada vs Napoli Predicted Line-up

Granada Predicted XI (3-4-3): Rui Silva; Domingos Duarte, German Sanchez, Jesus Vallejo; Dimitri Foulquier, Angel Montoro, Yangel Herrera, Carlos Neva; Jorge Molina, Darwin Machis, Antonio Puertas

Napoli Predicted XI (3-5-2): Alex Meret; Stanislav Lobotka, Nikola Maksimovic, Amir Rrahmani; Matteo Politano, Piotr Zielinski, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Fabian Ruiz, Mario Rui; Lorenzo Insigne, Victor Osimhen


Granada vs Napoli Prediction

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Granada have reveled as underdogs since getting promoted back to La Liga in 2019 and will cherish the same tag in the Europa League knockouts. They will be hoping to cause some big upsets starting with Napoli this week.

This is the Andalusian outfit's first-ever appearance in a European competition and they will be out to impress.

Napoli are missing nine important players and that is a huge disadvantage for the Italians.

We expect Granada to earn a narrow win in the first leg, but Napoli will secure a crucial away goal which could help them in the second leg.

Prediction: Granada 2-1 Napoli

Published 16 Feb 2021, 19:22 IST
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