The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 action continues on Tuesday night when Eintracht Frankfurt hosts Napoli at the Deutsche Bank Park for the first leg. The Bundesliga side finished second in Group D, collecting ten points from their six matches to progress to the knockout stages. Domestically, Oliver Glasner’s team is placed sixth in the league and has now won five home matches in a row in all competitions. Therefore, progressing deep in the UEFA Champions League will give Frankfurt fans something more to cheer about after their Europa League success last season.
Napoli, on the other hand, qualified for the Round of 16 after topping Group A ahead of Liverpool. They have been in tremendous form both in Serie A as well as in Europe. Luciano Spalletti’s side has dropped only seven points in the league thus far and won all but one of their UEFA Champions League group stage fixtures. They look like an extremely confident side that should be able to progress to the latter stages of Europe’s top-tier competition. Below, we look at the stats of both teams from the current season to comprehend how this matchup could play out.
The viz above shows the percentile rank of both teams’ stats compared to each other as well as to other teams in the UEFA Champions League 2022–23. It can be seen that Napoli has better overall stats than Eintracht Frankfurt in most departments. Notably, the visitors hold superior stats in terms of shots, xG, accurate passes, possession rate, and opposition xG per shot. Alternatively, there are a few departments where the hosts have superior stats or are at par, such as a high press success rate, recoveries, and opposition penalty area entries.
Eintracht Frankfurt have taken a total of 60 shots in six UCL matches and scored seven goals. They accumulated 5.98 non-penalty xG in total and scored all goals from inside the penalty area. The xG map above shows that the Bundesliga side has attempted most of their shots inside the box but has also shown a great desire to shoot from distance. Eintracht Frankfurt have scored 1.17 goals per match, averaging an xG of 1.12. They take 10.17 shots per match with a 39.3% accuracy rate.
Alternatively, Napoli have been one of the best teams in the current Champions League campaign. They have taken 98 shots in total and scored the highest number of goals (20) with a non-penalty xG tally of 10.89. The Serie A leaders scored a few of the goals from near the six-yard box and one right from the edge of the penalty area. They scored at the rate of 3.33 goals per match while averaging 2.45 xG. Furthermore, Napoli averages 17.17 shots per game with a 43.7% accuracy rate.
Forward passing ability
The two visuals above compare both teams on the basis of progressive passes. While both teams use the flanks significantly to move the ball forward, Napoli delivers more forward passes and crosses more accurately into the box from the wide positions compared to Eintracht Frankfurt. The visitors have an average of 45.17 passes to the final third with 78.6% accuracy, compared to 49 such passes with 64.6% accuracy by the hosts. In terms of possession rate, Napoli sees more of the ball, with 50.35% possession compared to Frankfurt’s 45.01%.
The two visuals above compare both teams based on their ability to regain possession high up the pitch. Eintracht Frankfurt holds the advantage in this department, having made 57 high regains compared to the 41 made by Napoli. Both teams have also had a few recoveries inside the box or in its vicinity, with some of these recoveries resulting in eventual shot attempts. Overall, Eintracht Frankfurt makes 93.83 recoveries per match, compared to the 81.17 recoveries made by Napoli.
Randal Kolo Muani has been in excellent form for Eintracht Frankfurt this season. He is the team’s top scorer in the domestic league and has also scored two important goals in the Champions League. The French forward will be leading Frankfurt’s attacking line, and the Napoli defenders will have the task of marking him out of the game.
Meanwhile, Khvicha Kvaratskheila has given some extraordinary performances for Napoli since joining last summer. The 22-year-old is among the top contributors for the Naples side in terms of goals and assists in Serie A. In the Champions League, the Georgian star has added two goals and three assists and brings a constant threat from the left flank with his speed, dribbles, passing, and shooting ability. If Eintracht Frankfurt wants to achieve a positive result, its players will have to ensure Kvaratskheila doesn’t hit the top gear.
Eintracht Frankfurt are expected to be without Nacho Ferri and Junior Dina Ebimbe due to injury. Meanwhile, club captain Sebastian Rode is another doubt after missing out on the last Bundesliga fixture due to illness.
Meanwhile, Napoli will miss the services of Giacomo Raspadori as a hamstring injury has ruled him out of the first leg. Other than that, the rest of the Napoli players are fit and will be available for selection.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Napoli will be an intense contest in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. Frankfurt will have the advantage of playing at home in the first leg and will be motivated to carry some sort of advantage into the return leg. On the other side is an extremely confident Napoli side that will pose an impeccable challenge to the hosts’ resolve.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine