Union Berlin’s hopes of progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League could be dashed if they fail to overcome Napoli in a Group C showdown at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Napoli, currently second in the group with six points, is aiming to edge closer to a spot in the knockout rounds with a positive result.
Despite off-field issues and inconsistent performances, Napoli seems to be finding its rhythm. The Serie A champions have had three wins and a draw in their last four matches, including a 1-0 victory over Union Berlin two weeks ago. While that win may not have been convincing, it still marked progress for Napoli.
Napoli followed up their Champions League win with a 2-2 draw against AC Milan in Serie A, recovering from a 2-0 deficit.
They then secured a 2-0 victory against Salernitana, with Giacomo Raspadori and Eljif Elmas finding the net.
Union Berlin, on the other hand, has been facing a tough run of form, losing 12 consecutive matches across all competitions. They have also struggled to score goals in their last five games.
In their most recent outing, Union Berlin suffered a 3-0 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.
They are currently in the relegation playoff spot in the Bundesliga and have yet to earn a point in the 2023-24 Champions League.
While Union Berlin has shown determination in their Champions League matches, they have been unable to secure points, and their chances of progressing in the competition are fading.
Napoli has a significant injury concern with Victor Osimhen sidelined due to a hamstring issue.
Giacomo Raspadori, Matteo Politano, and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are expected to lead the attack.
Brazilian defender Natan returns from suspension and is likely to start in place of Leo Ostigard.
For Union Berlin, several players, including Alexander Schwolow, Andras Schafer, Danilho Doekhi, and Josip Juranovic, have been dealing with injuries but may return.
Rani Khedira is set to provide fresh legs in midfield. Despite their challenging situation, Union Berlin is expected to field a recognizable lineup.
Predicted Score: Napoli 2-0 Union Berlin
While Union Berlin has shown promise, they are struggling to find the back of the net. Napoli, on the other hand, has been improving and should secure a 2-0 victory to move closer to the last-16 draw.