Defending champions Real Madrid will head to Napoli as clear favourites after a 3-1 win in the Spanish capital, but such an advantage has not always proved a guarantee of success for the record 11-time champions.
Real Madrid have held a similar lead on eight previous occasions in European competition but only progressed half of the time, providing Napoli with reason to dream they can pull off a shock.
“We believe in it. We know we can score two goals at the San Paolo. We also know it will be quite a job for our defenders,” Senegalese centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly told AFP following Saturday’s 2-1 win at Roma in Serie A.
In another tough encounter, Borussia Dortmund trail 1-0 ahead of the visit of Benfica to Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a penalty as Kostas Mitroglou’s second-half strike in Lisbon last month gave the Portuguese outfit the edge in their tie.
But the Gabonese striker netted his 20th and 21st goals of the Bundesliga season in Saturday’s 6-2 drubbing of Bayer Leverkusen to move back in front of Bayern marksman Robert Lewandowski at the top of the scoring charts.
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have one foot in the next round after thrashing Arsenal 5-1 at the Allianz Arena and look set to eliminate the Gunners in the last 16 for the third time in the past five seasons.