Will Osimhen score for Napoli in the Champions League?

After helping Napoli win their first Serie A title since 1990 last season, a lot of speculation surrounded Victor Osimhen and what his future looked like. However, despite links to the Premier League, PSG and Saudi Arabia, the Nigerian striker has stuck around in Naples.

It's been a less than enjoyable season for Napoli and Osimhen with the current champions lingering in a disappointing ninth and have just sacked Walter Mazzarri as their manager. For Osimhne, things haven't been much better with just eight goals to his name across all competitions.

The Nigerian international also flopped at AFCON 2023 despite Nigeria reaching the final and with the Champions League knockout stages returning this week, Osimhen will be keen to add to his sole European strike.

Napoli's Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen has just one Champions League goal this season – Photo by Icon sport

Will Osimhen score for Napoli in the Champions League?

Napoli need their star man to step up

Many Napoli fans will have been dreaming of back-to-back Serie A titles when they managed to keep hold of Osimhen through the summer transfer window. However, they've certainly been brought crashing back down to earth with the Nigerian stuttering in front of goal.

While seven goals in 13 Serie A games is still impressive, it's nothing for someone who managed to find the back of the net 26 times in the league last season and registered 31 strikes across all competitions.

The Nigerian striker looked to be miles off the pace when he travelled to the Ivory Coast for AFCON 2023. Osimhen did start every single game for Nigeria but was notably hooked off at crucial moments such as the semi-final and thus, was not trusted to take a penalty.

Osimhen returned to Naples with just one goal for his country and seemingly lacking match fitness so missed the draw against Genoa last weekend, perhaps hinting at his heart not fully being in the club anymore.

Osimhen has one eye on the future

It's been widely reported that Osimhen is already setting up a big money move for the summer, having admitted that he knows what the next step in his career will look like, and some of the underlying numbers in his performances back that up.

Osimhen is currently putting up his worst XG numbers (6.7) since becoming a regular starting striker with his next lowest in the 2021/22 season with Napoli when it reached 10.2.

There has always been noise surrounding Osimhen off the pitch with Napoli's own TikTok account posting some bizarre videos and everything appeared to be coming together for these poor displays and a disappointing final season.

Osimhen scoring in the Champions League
Victor Osimhen has only scored eight goals this campaign – Photo by Icon Sport

Will Osimhen score for Napoli?

Osimhen first goalscorer – (9/2)

If Napoli want to stand any chance of staying in the Champions League they're going to need a first-leg victory against a Barcelona side who won all of their home games in the group stages.

So, the Napoli players and fans will be praying Osimhen has returned from AFCON with some more confidence and belief in his own ability after only scoring once during the group stages. The last time Osimhen pulled on a Napoli shirt he was indeed the first goalscorer against Cagliari.

Osimhen to score in 90 minutes, Napoli to win and over 25 match fouls – (12/1)

Barcelona will be looking to slow the game down and ensure they go back to Spain having not lost the game, or in the worst-case scenario, only being down. by one goal. So, we can expect a fair amount of time-wasting and tactical fouls.

In the Serie A, Napoli players have been fouled 11.66 times per game, while Barcelona have committed 10.80 fouls per league match. So, with Barcelona likely looking to play this tactically, backing them to commit more fouls than average would be sensible.

Also, whenever Osimhen has scored for Napoli this season they have won all but one match, so the signs are positive if he can find the back of the net early on.

Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen has failed to score in his two appearances against Barcelona – Photo by Icon sport

Osimhen to score anytime and have an assist – (18/1)

Osimhen is still the club's top scorer this season with eight goals, so if they're to get past Barcelona he will have to be on top of his game. You can find Osimhen to score anytime at 8/5 but adding him to register an assist boosts those odds up to 18/1.

While the goals dried up for Osimhen at AFCON 2023 he did indeed turn into a provider on international duty. The Nigerian striker registered three assists during his time away which turned out to be one every other game, making this bet even more tempting.

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Aaron Hindhaugh

Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.