RB Leipzig vs. Napoli: UEFA Europa League, Live stream
RB Leipzig vs. Napoli: UEFA Europa League probable line-ups, match stats and LIVE blog
RB Leipzig will look to complete their Italian job against Napoli in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League last 32 tie at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday evening (kick-off: 19:00CET/18:00GMT).
It’s a shorter than usual turnaround for Leipzig this week following their 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt on Monday, but they will hope to make home advantage count in Europe. RBL hold a 3-1 lead over Napoli following a stunning first-leg display in Italy last week. The goalscorers in that game – in-form Germany striker Timo Werner and flying Portuguese winger Bruma – return to the starting line-up for the second leg, along with midfielder Kevin Kampl, who missed the Frankfurt trip with a cold. Naby Keita misses out, while Ibrahima Konate takes the place of injured captain Willi Orban.
Italian league leaders Napoli have made clear that their focus is on winning the Serie A title for the first time since 1990, leaving top goalscorer Dries Mertens out of the squad for last week’s game against Leipzig. The Belgium forward starts tonight, though, alongside Italy international Lorenzo Insigne and Piotr Zielinski, in a three-man attack. Raul Albiol and Mario Rui come into the defence, and there’s also a place for Brazilian midfielder Allan in a much-changed side to the one that lost the first leg.
Watch: Leipzig, the Bundesliga’s counter-attacking kings!
Leipzig: Gulasci – Laimer, Konate, Upamecano, Bernardo – Sabitzer, Demme (c), Kampl, Bruma – Poulsen, Werner
Subs: Mvogo, Ilsanker, Klostermann, Schmitz, Kaiser, Forsberg, Augustin
Absentees: Halstenberg (knee), Keita (hamstring), Orban (knee)
Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Napoli: Reina – Maggio, Albiol, Tonelli, Rui – Allan, Diawara, Hamsik (c) – Zielinski, Mertens, Insigne
Subs: Sepe, Hysaj, Koulibaly, Jorginho, Rog, Callejon, Ounas
Absentees: Milik, Ghoulam (both knee), Chiriches (muscle strain)
Coach: Maurizio Sarri
Werner is Leipzig’s top scorer this season with 16 goals in all competitions. The 21-year-old has also laid on three assists in the Bundesliga.
This is Leipzig’s first ever European campaign, having only been promoted to the Bundesliga for the 2016/17 season.
Leipzig’s first-leg win was only the fourth time Serie A leaders Napoli have lost on home soil this season.
Dayot Upamecano has completed more passes than any other teenager in Europe’s top five leagues (per UEFA coefficient) this season.
Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi and Napoli counterpart Pepe Reina were teammates at Liverpool in 2008/09.
Napoli have only won away to German opposition once – beating Wolfsburg 4-1 three seasons ago – losing five times and drawing three.