Napoli welcomes Eintracht Frankfurt to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Tuesday night for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clashes. The hosts lead the tie comfortably by two goals and seem destined to make the quarter-finals. Goals in either half by Victor Osimhen and Giovanni Di Lorenzo secured the victory as the visitors went a man down in the second half with Randal Kolo Muani sent off.
Napoli are on course to claim the Serie A title despite losing at home recently for the first time this season. They have been incredible at home territory all season and bounced back with a 2-0 win against Atalanta during the weekend. Meanwhile, the visitors are amidst a rough patch of form and without a win in their last three league matches. Eintracht Frankfurt are winless in their last six away matches, and this could hamper the slim chances of progression they have.
Below, we take a look at some of the stats that depict what the first leg looked like and comprehend how the return leg could play out.
Overall performance of both teams
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 have better stats than Eintracht Frankfurt in most of the indicators. Notably, the Serie A leaders have superior stats in terms of goals, shots, accurate and key passes, xGA, and opposition xG per shot. Alternatively, there are a few indicators in which the Bundesliga side has a higher rank or is at par, such as recoveries, opposition penalty area touches, and crosses.
Napoli maintains nearly 53% possession and attempts 514 passes on average with an accuracy of 87.2%. They take 17 shots per match with 46.2% accuracy while averaging 2.5 xG. Whereas, Eintracht Frankfurt keeps the ball for 43.11% of the match, attempting 416 passes with an accuracy of 81%. Additionally, they attempt 9.43 shots per 90 minutes with 38% accuracy and 1.03 xG.
Attacking and passing gameplay from the first leg
The two visuals above show Napoli’s xG map and pass map from the first leg against the German side. They penetrated the Frankfurt penalty box with effect, took 16 shots, with ten on target, and ended the match with 2.78 xG. Napoli played with a high backline, with the full-backs almost playing as wide midfielders and the centre midfielders proving key in linking defence with the attack. They attempted 714 passes and completed 636 with 89.08% accuracy. Luciano Spalletti’s team imposed their dominance on the tie and was in control of proceedings throughout the match.
The two visuals above show Eintracht Frankfurt’s xG map and pass map from the first leg. They showed some intent early on, but Randal Kolo Muani’s sending-off severely impacted their game plan. The Die Adler had a couple of attempts inside the penalty area and only accumulated 0.44 xG, failing to threaten the Napoli goal enough. They took five shots in total, with only one on target, and attempted 297 passes with 78.8% accuracy. Their movement in the opposition half was very limited, as they sat back and defended in the second half. Ultimately, the 0-2 scoreline proved flattering for the German side considering the number of chances they conceded.
Using the width of the pitch
The two viz above compare both teams on the basis of their ball progression actions in the first leg of the tie. While both teams used the flanks significantly to advance with the ball, Napoli were more successful in delivering forward passes and crosses into the box from the wide positions compared to Eintracht Frankfurt.
The visitors attempted 59 passes to the final third compared to 27 such passes by the hosts. Frankfurt made two successful crosses out of 13 attempted, whereas Napoli delivered four out of 16 crosses attempted in the match.
Going into the second leg, the Die Adler must look to put more crosses and passes into the box from wide areas, as well as surprise the Napoli defence with penetrations into the box through the likes of their wide forwards and wingbacks.
Victor Osimhen has been in extraordinary form for Napoli this season. He is the top scorer in Serie A and has scored twice in the Champions League thus far. The Nigerian star opened the scoring in the first leg and is a constant threat inside the penalty box with his speed, agility, and clinical finishing. To achieve a positive result, Eintracht Frankfurt’s players will have to prioritise countering Osimhen’s threats.
Eintracht Frankfurt will be counting on Daichi Kamada to display his versatility on the night. He is the team’s top scorer in UEFA competitions with 14 goals and has scored three times in the Champions League this season. The Japanese midfielder takes 1.41 shots per match (50% accuracy) along with 1.13 passes into the penalty box, and the Napoli defenders will have to nullify his presence in the final third.
Napoli’s only confirmed absentee thus far is Giacomo Raspadori. There are also doubts over the fitness of key players like Kim Min-Jae, Alex Meret, and Hirving Lozano.
Eintracht Frankfurt will also have a few key starters missing due to injuries, such as Jesper Lindstrom and Ansgar Knauff. Randal Kolo Muani will serve his suspension, and Eric Ebimbe is also unavailable.
With a spot in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals at stake, the second leg between Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt will be an interesting matchup to glance at. The Serie A leaders remain the firm favourites to progress and will have the support of playing in front of the Napoli faithful. Meanwhile, the Bundesliga side has their task cut out for them, with a marginal chance of making it through. It will require a special performance in a tough away fixture against an extremely confident opponent to overturn the deficit.
Visuals via Wyscout and TFA data viz engine