Will every game be a must-win match for Napoli this season? AS Roma have pulled five points clear at the top. Inter Milan beating Hellas Verona on Saturday night put them just a point behind the partenopei. Fiorentina will likely beat Chievo Verona later on Sunday, pulling them into the European positions, and it's almost inconceivable to think that Juventus will lose to Genoa.
It's early in the season but yes, the match is already a must win. Serie A this year is tighter at the top than it's been in years, and we haven't even factored in the late season runs AC Milan and Udinese tend to have. If Napoli want one of those three Champions League positions, it's matches such as today's --matches against midtable competition, sandwiched between two big games -- that are absolute must wins.
Fortunately, Rafa Benítez seems to understand that Toro aren't to be taken lightly. The boss has rested Valon Behrahmi, strangely enough, so it's Blerim Džemaili that partners Gökhan İnler -- let's hope for another hat-trick, yes? The only other change from the side that beat Marseille on Tuesday is that José Callejón drops to the bench for some rest, which places Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne on either side of Marek Hamšík. Gonzalo Higuaín may not be fully fit yet but he takes his spot up top.
As for the visitors, they've assembled a make-shift backline that they hope somehow manages to control 11-man Napoli better than ten-man Inter. They're also without Ciro Immobile, who sits out a one match ban.
Napoli: Reina; Maggio, Albiol, Fernandez, Armero; Inler, Dzemaili; Mertens, Hamsik, Insigne; Higuain
Torino:Padelli; Darmian, Glik, Moretti; D’Ambrosio, Gazzi, Vives, Bellomo, Pasquale; Cerci, Barreto