Have you heard the rumors the rags have been tossing around? That Chelsea might be considering a bid for Napoli's Edison Cavani because of how poorly Fernando Torres has played? The good news is, we can stop hearing those rumors! Chelsea and Napoli drew each other in the Round of 16 of the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League and play what is arguably the most intriguing tie of the round.
The pre-match build-up to this one should be a bit polarizing. It's probably going to come down to discussions about tactics and formations more than the other ties, which will fascinate some people and bore the hell out of others. Napoli certainly has the talent to compete with anyone on any day, but their three at the back setup is almost inherently at a disadvantage against Chelsea's normal 4-3-3. Walter Mazzarri will likely need to make an adjustment of some kind.
Chelsea vs. Napoli
Daniel Sturridge - He's not Chelsea's best player, but against Napoli, he could be their most important. Wide forwards cutting inside onto their stronger foot from wide positions are Napoli's kryptonite.
Matchup to watch
Chelsea's left side vs. Napoli's right side - Secret time! Ashley Cole hasn't been good for over a year now. Christian Maggio is one of the best right backs or wing backs in the world, and probably the second best in the world at his specific role after Daniel Alves. Juan Mata might have to be moved inside with someone else playing on the left wing in this tie, because Mata won't be doing much defensive work on Maggio.
Chelsea to go through by one goal - Napoli are a great team with the firepower to upset anyone. Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi make up an absolutely lethal front three. However, they're going to have trouble containing Chelsea with their current defense, both in scheme and personnel.