Feyenoord – Napoli (Champions League)
With no chance of qualification and with their fate already sealed, Feyenoord will face Napoli at De Kuip, in Rotterdam, for Group F final round of the Champions League. The home team arrives here without any chance of qualifying, neither to the round of 16 of the competition, nor to move to the Europa League, playing this game only to meet schedule. Napoli, on their turn, not only are forced to win here, but also are dependent on the result of Manchester City against Shakhtar Donetsk to proceed to the next stage.
Feyenoord are bottom of the group with 0 points from their five matches played, with 3 goals scored and 13 goals conceded. The Dutch have made a very poor campaign throughout this Group F, arriving in this final matchday of the group stages only to meet schedule, since there is no chance for them to remain in the european competitions. This bad moment of form is present in all the competitions they take part, winning only 3 of their last 11 matches played, between Eredivisie, Champions League and Dutch Cup.
The Eredivisie title holders are 5th placed in the league table and completely out of the title race, with a 14 point gap between them and leaders PSV. The Dutch lost both home matches in the Champions League, against Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk, scoring only 1 goal and conceding 6 in the process. With nothing left to fight for in the competition, Feyenoord can rest some of their key players so they can now focus entirely on their league campaign.
In their last 5 official matches, Feyenoord has a record of 2 victories, 2 draws and 1 defeat. This sequence of results started with a 2-2 away draw against ADO Den Haag. This result was followed by a 1-1 home draw against VVV-Venlo, a 1-0 defeat against Manchester City, for the Champions League, a 0-2 victory against Groningen, and in their last match, a 1-0 win against Vitesse. Haps, Botteghin and van der Heijden are all out due to injury.
Probable Lineup: Jones – Diks, Tapia, Juste and Nelom – Amrabat, Ahmadi and Vilhena – Berghuis, Jorgensen and Larsson.
Napoli, on their turn, are 3rd in the group with 6 points, result of 2 victories and 3 defeats, with 10 goals scored and 9 goals conceded. The Italians were drawn into a group with two strong sides, Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk, and despite having already secured a place in the Europa League, they still dream with round of 16 of the Champions League. It is only possible to stay in this competition if they win here against Feyenoord and if Manchester City beats Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, something unlikely since the Citizens are expected to make wholesale changes to their usual starting XI.
The Azzurri lost top spot in Serie A over the weekend, losing at home against Juventus. The Partenopei have lost both away games in this Group F, against Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk, both by 2-1. For all intents and purposes, Maurizio Sarri should enter here in maximum strength and beat Feyenoord to show that he did his best to reach the round of 16. This will be another good offensive football game on the part of the Italians.
In their last 5 official games, Napoli has a record of 3 victories, 1 draw and 1 defeat. This sequence of results started with a 0-0 draw against Chievo. This result was followed by a 2-1 win over AC Milan, a 3-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk, for the Champions League, a 0-1 win over Udinese, and in their last match, a 0-1 defeat against Juventus. Ghoulam and Milik are both out for this match due to injury.
Probable Lineup: Reina – Maggio, Albiol, Koulibaly and Hysaj – Diwara, Hamsik and Zielinski – Callejón, Mertens and Insigne.
Napoli won the only direct clash between the two teams.
Expect a very strong entry from Napoli, who will do everything in their power to reach the round of 16. Feyenoord are bottom of the group with 0 points from their first five matches and have only won three of their last 11 competitive matches. Napoli should win here, but whether that is enough to qualify remains to be seen.