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Napoli vs. Barcelona: Live Stream, TV Schedule, Predictions and Preview

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 04: Leo Messi of FC Barcelona waves to the crowd during the Joan Gamper trophy friendly match at Nou Camp between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 4, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images)
David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images

Barcelona will meet Napoli at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Wednesday for the first of two back-to-back friendlies between the two clubs.

La Liga heavyweights Barca go up against Serie A powerhouses Napoli in Miami before the two teams conclude their pre-season schedules against one another in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Saturday.

Each of these sides lost their first outing in pre-season but have since recovered. Napoli are now unbeaten in their last four games, while the Blaugrana have beaten Arsenal and Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe following a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in July.

Lionel Messi is yet to feature for Barcelona thus far in pre-season, and Napoli will be pleased the Argentinian won't be in the United States to make his debut against them.

        

Date: Wednesday, August 7

Time: 7 p.m. ET/12 a.m. BST (Thursday, August 8)

Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, Florida

Live Stream: Premier Player (UK), ESPN+ (U.S.)

TV Info: Premier Sports 1 (UK)

      

Preview

The official return of Messi is looming large for Barcelona, who came back from a goal down to defeat Arsenal 2-1 in the Joan Gamper Trophy at the Camp Nou on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the visitors ahead in Catalonia, but Luis Suarez capped off their comeback in the 90th minute after Ainsley Maitland-Niles equalised with an own goal.

Suarez came off the bench for his first pre-season appearance and showed wonderful agility to volley home a last-gasp decider:

FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona

⚽️🎉 GOOOOOAAALLL! 😍 And it's a cracking finish from @LuisSuarez9 in the final minute! #GamperFest FCB 2-1 ARS 🏆 https://t.co/OxZrOnhVJu

Messi didn't make it off the bench but delivered a rousing speech to his home supporters ahead of kick-off, signalling the club's intent to compete for everything once more this season:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

When Messi addressed Barcelona fans last year, he promised them the Champions League. One year later, he has no regrets and is ready to go again 💪 (via @FCBarcelona, @brfootball) https://t.co/Pxpoyw9x9N

To Barcelona's dismay (and Napoli's joy, perhaps), Messi won't feature in the United States after journalist Sam Marsden reported the South American didn't join his team-mates on this part of pre-season:

Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden

Messi injured in traininng this morning and won’t travel on to the US this week

Napoli's form is a concern for the Catalans. Carlo Ancelotti's men have kept two clean sheets in their last three outings, one of which came in the form of a 3-0 victory over European champions Liverpool.

It's also worth noting that Napoli have played five pre-season games already compared to the Catalans' three, which is likely to give their players the edge in match fitness.

Lorenzo Insigne, Arkadiusz Milik and Amin Younes were the scorers for Napoli as they ran rampant against the Reds at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland (U.S. only):

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Napoli welcomed Liverpool back to Europe with a three-goal clinic in Scotland 💯 https://t.co/UoXIUafwMi

Dries Mertens provided the only goal at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday when Napoli edged Marseille to go a fourth pre-season match unbeaten, including three wins.

Frenkie de Jong will hope to keep his place in Ernesto Valverde's XI and get more minutes under his belt against Napoli, having impressed in his full debut for the club against Arsenal. 

Prediction: Napoli 1-1 Barcelona

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