Frankfurt vs Napoli – Best players to look out for and predicted XI for their Champions League round of 16 clash

Reigning Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt take on Napoli in the Champions League round of 16 on February 21.

The first leg will be held in Germany followed by the second leg in Naples on March 15.

Here we take a look at the key players who will feature for both teams in this clash between two balanced sides.

Victor Osimhen

Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen has been by far the best goalscorer in Europe.

The forward has played 22 games in all competitions at the time of writing, scoring 18 goals, with 17 of those goals coming in 18 Serie A games this season ahead of the first leg against Frankfurt.
Osimhen has tremendous capability with headers and almost every touch with his right foot in the opposition box is resulting in a goal.

If Eintracht Frankfurt fail to contain him, Osimhen could single handedly put this tie to bed in the first leg itself.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Georgia winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has been key to Napoli’s incredible Serie A campaign which they look certain to win.
The intelligent wide man has done almost everything a manager could ask of a creative attacking winger as he has scored over 10 goals and over 10 assists in all competitions this season ahead of the first leg clash against Frankfurt.
Eintracht do have some experienced defenders at their disposal, but the fact that they have to manage both Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia looks like a daunting task.

Randal Kolo Muani

We all remember Randal Kolo Muani for his incredible last minute miss for France against Argentina in the 2022 World Cup final.

The French forward has been in great form in Germany, garnering close to 30 goal contributions (goals + assists) in 29 appearances (at the time of writing) across all competitions for Eintracht.

He netted two times in the six group games he played in the Champions League earlier this season. We think Anguissa will be tasked with man-marking Kolo Muani throughout this game and it will be interesting to see how that tactic pans out.

Mario Gotze

World Cup winner with Germany, Mario Gotze moved to Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer of 2022 and has enjoyed a decent campaign.

He has made 29 appearances, scoring two goals and providing seven assists (at the time of writing) this season.

Frankfurt depend quite a bit on midfield creativity and Napoli’s midfield is one of the toughest to break down in Europe. Gotze has made a habit of making the most of such challenges thrown at him. Expect the German maestro to dominate!

Kim Min-jae

South Korean centre-back Kim Min-jae impressed at the World Cup in Qatar and since then, he has been in tremendous form for Napoli.

After arriving in Naples in the summer of 2022, Kim Min-jae has gone on to make over 25 appearances for the club, with his performances attracting interest from some of the top clubs in the world.

The South Korean defender has a tremendous sense of positioning and heading ability, something he would need to display against the likes of Kolo Muani in Frankfurt’s forward line.

An interesting aspect about this player is that whenever he plays at the best of his capabilities, Napoli almost never lose a game. It has been proved by the fact that Napoli lost just one game in the Serie A (against Inter on January 5) coming into the weekend before their clash against Eintracht.

Frankfurt predicted starting XI: 

Trapp; Smolcic, Tuta, Ndicka, Buta; Kamada, Sow, Max; Lindstrom; Gotze, Kolo Muani 

Who will miss the second leg if booked with a yellow card? – Hasebe, Jakic, Smolcic

Napoli predicted starting XI:

Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim, Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Lozano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia 

Who will miss the second leg if booked with a yellow card? – Politano

Frankfurt vs Napoli – What have the managers said before their Champions League clash?

Oliver Glasner, Frankfurt coach:

“Napoli are the best team in the top five leagues but there [is plenty of time to go until the game]: everything can change.”

Luciano Spalletti, Napoli coach:

“Every draw is tough at this level, although we are pleased that we have avoided Paris. Eintracht Frankfurt are still the holders of the Europa League, which is the second-biggest competition in Europe, and they are on the up as a team. It certainly won’t be easy.”

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