Under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri (who took over from Rafa Benitez) the Neapolitan side enjoyed a second place in the 2015/16 Serie A season and in Higuain had the "Capocannoniere" (leading goal-scorer) in the Italian top flight, with 36 goals.
On a roll
With "Pipita's" departure to rivals Juventus, many felt the wheels would come off for the southern based outfit and that has been far from the case with the side currently third in Serie A, into the last 16 of the Champions League and just last week qualified for the semi-final of the 2016/17 Coppa Italia following a 1-0 win over Fiorentina. In fact the Ciucciarelli have not lost since their away trip in Turin against Juventus on October 29, 2016 with Sarri's side recording a run of 16 games unbeaten (10 wins and six draws).
All about the kit
Curiously, the bulk of these games have been played without the team playing in their traditional sky-blue shirt. After drawing at home to Sassuolo at the San Paolo stadium, superstitious club president Aurelio De Laurentiis decided to make a change with the team subsequently using their away kit composing of a sky blue sash on a predominantly white background. For Champions League and Italian cup games Napoli now play in their black third kit.
Since the change, the Neapolitan side have recorded 2 draws and nine wins in the eleven games played: “The shirt change was a decision by the president who is a tad superstitious" claimed Sarri, another who claims to have a superstition trait himself.
There is also some more positive news for the Italian side as marksman Arkadiusz Milik is expected to be for got the tie at the Bernabéu.
The Serie A will be buoyed on by 10.000 tifosi who are expended to make the trip to the Spanish capital with only 3.197 tickets being made available to the away team.