Alright, ladies and gents. It’s time. Time for Napoli to play Benfica in Portugal. Time for Napoli to learn their Champions League fate. Time for Napoli to put up, or for Napoli to shut up.
For the sake of simplicity, here are the scenarios:
- If Napoli win, they win the group. Period, end of story. This is, obviously, the preferred result.
- Draw, and Napoli advance, but might not win the group. The partenopei hold a tiebreaker advantage over Benfica, so no matter what happens in the Besiktas match they’ll head to the knockout rounds. Where things get mushy is that Napoli’s final position depends on Besiktas — if the Turkish team wins their match against Dynamo Kyiv and Napoli draw, Besiktas win the group with Benfica sinking to the Europa League. If they draw, however, Napoli win the group and Benfica go through as well.
- If Napoli lose, it all depends on Besiktas. If the Turks get even a draw, they hold a tiebreaker edge and would advance, with Napoli falling to the Europa League. This is not the result we want.
Please don’t fuck this up, Napoli.
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Allan, Diawara, Hamsik; Callejon, Gabbiadini, Insigne
Benfica: Ederson; Nelson Semedo, Luisao, Lindelof, Andre Almeida; Salvio, Fejsa, Pizzi, Cervi; Goncalo Guedes, Raul Jimenez
When: Tuesday, 8:45 p.m. CET, 2:45 p.m. ET
Where: Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal
TV: PremiumSport, PremiumSport 2, Canale 5 (Italy), BT Sport Extra (U.K.)
Online: Fox Soccer 2GO, WatchESPN, ESPN3 (U.S.)