One of the blockbuster fixtures of the 2023/24 Champions League group stage arrives on Tuesday night for Napoli vs Real Madrid at Stadio Armando Maradona.
Napoli and Real Madrid are all set to square up against each other after getting off to a perfect start with all three points in the UEFA Champions League group stage last time out. Both teams will be eager to take all three points from this game as it might end up deciding who finishes at the top spot in Group C.
The home team began their UCL campaign with a 2-1 win over SC Braga. Despite being the stronger team on paper, they were not really in control of the game and could have dropped points. But, thanks to an own goal by Sikou Niakate late in the second half, the Serie A champions managed to take home all three points.
They will now square up against the most successful team in Champions League history and will look to get one better over them in their own backyard. Napoli are heading into this fixture on the back of a 4-0 win over Lecce and will be confident of putting up a great fight against Real Madrid.
The visitors did have a slip-up against city rivals Atletico Marid. But apart from that, they have been in sensational form since the start of the new season. Real Madrid started off their Champions League campaign with a 1-0 win over debutants Union Berlin.
They were not really in total control of that game but ended up taking home all three points thanks to a late goal by summer signing Jude Bellingham. After losing to Atletico Madrid, they have bounced back with two consecutive wins in the league without conceding a goal.
Carlo Ancelotti's team will be confident heading into this fixture, but it won't be an easy one by any means. It is going to be a hard-fought encounter between two quality teams.
The hosts will be without a pair of centre-halves on Tuesday as both Juan Jesus and Amir Rrahmani are out injured. That means summer arrival Natan and Leo Ostigard will continue as the starting pair.
Garcia made a couple of changes to his side away at Lecce on Saturday, and we should see Osimhen and Matteo Politano return to the frontline.
Giacomo Raspadori is also pushing for a start.
Real Madrid were dealt an injury blow last week when David Alaba limped off in the win over Las Palmas. While the Austrian isn't expected to be sidelined for too long, he'll miss Tuesday's Champions League bout.
Eder Militao and Thibaut Courtois are long-term absentees for the visitors, while Arda Guler endured an injury setback and will be out of action until the October international break.
Luka Modric could return to the team on Tuesday, as could Rodrygo up top.
Napoli predicted lineup vs Real Madrid (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Ostigard, Natan, Rui; Lobotka, Anguissa, Zielinski; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia.
Real Madrid predicted lineup vs Napoli (4-3-1-2): Kepa; Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy; Tchouameni, Valverde, Modric; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr.