Napoli vs Real Madrid Preview and Lineups – UCL Round 2

We are set for a titanic clash on Tuesday night with Napoli vs Real Madrid on the cards as the two heavyweight sides meet at Stadio Diego Maradona in Champions League Group C action.

Current Italian champions Napoli will play host to 14-time Champions League victors Real Madrid in what is one of the most salivating fixtures in this year’s competition so far. The home side were eliminated at the round of 16 stage last term, whilst the visitors were knocked out at the semi-finals. Both will be expected to qualify from the groups once more this season.

The two teams have kicked off their Champions League campaigns with a victory each and the pair are expected to battle it out for top spot in Group C. However, the first priority will be to qualify into the knockouts. It’s time for our Napoli vs Real Madrid preview which is set to be a thrilling encounter.

Napoli Preview

Head coach Rudi Garcia knows just how important the Champions League is for a club like Napoli and is prepared for a monumental fixture up against giants Real Madrid. Pressure has eased slightly of late on the French boss after a fairly slow start to his time in charge of the Partenopei. Those in Naples will be hoping for another result on Tuesday as the games continue to come thick and fast.

There were rumours of Garcia being sacked early doors as Napoli dropped points in two of their opening four league games. However, they picked up an important 2-1 win away to Braga in their first Champions League match of the season which certainly helped his cause. Napoli also defeated Lecce 4-0 away from home in Serie A over the weekend.

The Azzurri have lost just one competitive game so far this term but expectations are high after they won the Scudetto last season. They are undefeated across their last four, though, and have conceded just once over their last three outings. Napoli have scored eight goals in their last two as well so it seems to be clicking at the moment for Garcia’s side.

One To Watch: Giovanni Di Lorenzo 

Captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo remains one of the most important players for Napoli and he will look to offer a threat going forward from right-back. The 30-year-old scored the opener against Braga and already has three goal contributions in Serie A after just seven games. He is crucial to the side.

Real Madrid Preview

Los Blancos have won this competition a record 14 times but have lifted the trophy just once in the past five years. Nevertheless, Real Madrid are always one of the most feared opponents in Champions League football and have reached the semi-finals in their last three attempts, winning the competition in 2022.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side have looked superb domestically this term as well after disappointing during the 2022/23 campaign. Rivals Barcelona were crowned Spanish champions last season and so Real Madrid are fighting to bounce back this time and currently sit top of the La Liga standings, losing just one match.

That defeat came in the Madrid derby, though, as they suffered a 3-1 loss away to Atletico Madrid at Metropolitano Stadium. Real Madrid have recovered since then, however, and have won their last two consecutive league matches, without conceding too. A 3-0 victory away to high-flyers Girona last time out proves they are still in top form.

One To Watch: Jude Bellingham 

Quite often players struggle due to the pressure of playing for a team like Real Madrid. However, 20-year-old Jude Bellingham has taken it in his stride after his move from Borussia Dortmund over the summer. The Englishman has a total of nine goal contributions in just eight appearances for Los Blancos thus far and scored a last-gasp winner against Union Berlin in his side’s Champions League opener. He is a superstar.


Garcia will be looking to make history with Napoli on Tuesday as he aims to help record their first-ever triumph over Real Madrid. The Partenopei lost both legs 3-1 when they met in the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017. They also met in the European Cup in 1987 as Los Blancos won 2-0 on their own turf before drawing 1-1 in Naples.

Napoli vs Real Madrid Potential Lineups & Team News

Napoli (4-3-3): Alex Meret; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Natan, Leo Ostigard, Mathias Olivera; Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka, Piotr Zielinski; Matteo Politano, Victor Osimhen, Kvicha Kvaratskhelia

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Victor Osimhen of late due to social media posts by official Napoli accounts and rumours surrounding his relationship with Garcia. Nevertheless, the Nigerian came off the bench to score last time out and is expected to lead the line here.

Natan and Leo Ostigard have been the centre-back pairing for the past three matches and have conceded just one goal so they are likely to start once more here. Matteo Politano could be recalled to the starting eleven but Garcia will likely rotate at least a couple of players. Pierluigi Gollini, Amir Rrahmani and Juan Jesus are the only injury concerns.

Real Madrid (4-3-1-2): Kepa Arrizabalaga; Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rudiger, Nacho Fernandez, Eduardo Camavinga; Federico Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni, Toni Kroos; Jude Bellingham; Vinicius Junior, Joselu

With a host of top-quality central midfielders available, Ancelotti has largely opted for a flat three-man midfield this season, with Bellingham playing just behind the two forwards. Even with Fede Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni, Toni Kroos and Bellingham in the line-up, the likes of Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga could be left on the bench.

Ancelotti does have some options after Ferland Mendy’s return to the squad, whilst Rodrygo will also be looking to be recalled into the starting line-up. However, Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao, Arda Guler and David Alaba will all remain on the sidelines.

Napoli vs Real Madrid Prediction

It is hard to separate the two teams, especially since Napoli have looked back at their best of late. A trip to Naples is always difficult for any opponent but the quality of Real Madrid is impressive across the board. The likes of Kvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen appear to be back on form too so we are set for an entertaining clash.

Napoli 2-2 Real Madrid