By Tim Stannard
Quique Setien makes Champions League managerial debut as Barca look to avoid another away day disaster
A club leadership at odds with the players.
A no-drama, calm-as-ducks manager sacked for no good reason aside from being a scapegoat.
An out-there managerial replacement that ruffled a few feathers.
The 2019-2020 campaign has seen a couple of seasons of success and stability under Carlo Ancelotti thrown into the sporting dumpster by Napoli owner, Aurelio De Laurentiis. And then set on fire. And potentially something unmentionable done to put that fire out.
Failing form from the footballers earlier in the season saw the miscreants put into a training camp, refusing to go, and being threatened with six-figure fines. Following that was the sacking of Ancelotti, the appointment of Gennaro Gattuso, and the reported regrets from de Laurentiis for sacking Ancelotti in the first place.
It's true that Napoli didn't (allegedly) rustle up a social media troll farm conspiracy but the Serie A side came fairly close to matching Barcelona for off-the-pitch antics this season.
However, Napoli have stabilized of late with four league wins from five and face a Barcelona team that has had a couple of horror shows in the Champions League away from home in recent years - hello Roma and Liverpool.
Fortunately, Barcelona are lead by a coach with years of experience in Europe's top club competition. "It's my first game in the Champions League and that is a special motivation for me," declared Quique Setien cheerfully before Tuesday's match.
Chelsea barricade against Hurricane Lewandowski
Tuesday's second game in the Champions League is equally as unpredictable.
Chelsea and Bayern Munich are facing off in London and are lead by coaches, Frank Lampard and Hansi Flick, with very little experience of the competition in managerial terms - although the Chelsea boss has played in one or two games in his time - which suggests that the match could be a fairly non-cagey affair. That and the fact that neither team are particularly adept at defending this season.
Bayern will be looking to prove why the club should still be counted as relevant in Europe. Chelsea will be hoping to not get smashed into pieces by Robert Lewandowski, a striker who has scored 40 goals for club and country this season in 38 games. "He is playing in the form of his life," warned Flick.
"We must make sure that every box is ticked over two legs," noted Lampard ahead of the game, sounding as prissy and English as humanely possible.
Madrid prepares for Man City as Neymar lockdown continues
While both of those matches are going on, Real Madrid will be gathering their forces for the visit of Manchester City on Wednesday in the first of a double-whammy of a few days for the LaLiga club with Barcelona coming to town in El Clasico on Sunday.
With Eden Hazard now likely to be out of action until the rest of the season, Coach Zizou is going to have to start being nice to Gareth Bale again. The Welshman could return to the starting line-up on Wednesday against a City side who might be making their final away match in the Champions League for the next two years if matters go pear-shaped in the Bernabeu.
Meanwhile, The Great Neymar Watch has begun in the French capital.
There are two days left of the Rio Carnival. Neymar doesn't like to miss it. And Neymar got himself handily suspended for PSG after a last-minute red card against Bordeaux on Sunday.
However, there was public proof that Neymar was still in the French capital on Monday at midday local time, with social media images of some of the players having a team-bonding breakfast.
Speaking of all things South America, beIN SPORTS is the proud home of both the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana with action from both competitions across the network including Independiente de Medellin trying to hold onto a 1-0 lead against Atletico Tucuman and qualify for the Libertadores group stages.
And you can catch some of the action free on the beIN SPORTS XTRA channel - no strings, no subscriptions.