Napoli's fortunes looking up

Gabriele Maltinti

Low and behold, looks like Napoli's back line isn't the only one made of glass this season. Borussia Dortmund have come out and announced that both Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer have picked up injuries. This coupled with the fact that Subotic is already out with an injury means that three of Dortmund's impenetrable back four are set to miss the clash at Westfalenstadion on Tuesday. Now I'll be honest, when I saw Arsenal beat Dortmund at Westfalen I thought our chances of advancing were about as likely as an Armero long ball actually finding a target. I love the Partenopei just as much as the next guy but lets not kid ourselves, that is an incredibly tough fixture.

But with this recent news I'm actually starting to feel quite optimistic about this. As long as Rafa doesn't decide that Pandev has earned a start up top then I get the feeling that a penetrating Higuain run followed by a deadly Marekiaro pass would be more than enough to make Weidenfeller run out of his penalty area and get another red. Okay maybe lightning striking twice is a bit too optimistic. But you get the idea. Call me crazy but maybe that Bishop wasn't too far off when he said San Gennaro was blessing us with victories.

In other news, UEFA has decided to leave Napoli with a warning after the behavior of ultras had us partneopei fearing that we would be playing our next home fixture against Arsenal behind closed doors. To put this into perspective this behind closed doors atmosphere would have been almost as emotionless as playing at the emirates. Haha I kid you gooners, no need to flood me with hate mail. Apparently Napoli's appeal was accepted and a 25,000 fine has been deemed the ultimate punishment.

Now I'm going to be honest. I still think our chances of qualification are slim. For those that think we can just waltz into a tough opposing place like Dortmund and get a result, just look at what happened when we took a trip up north to Turin last week. A result at Westfalen is going to take MAJOR defensive discipline. I'm talking Fernandez and Albiol being on the same page defensive discipline. I'm talking Valon Behrami going with some border line red card tackles defensive discipline. I'm talking Higuain tracking by and marking a player defensive discipline. I'm talking actually getting our shit together for an entire 90 minutes defensive discipline.

Now this may seem a bit much to ask for but I believe in Rafa and I believe he will come with a decent enough plan to weather the inevitable German Blitzkrieg. I am not particularly as worried about the Arsenal game. Though I must admit, Arsenal did make us look like a bunch of guys playing a scrimmage while we were on break from our real jobs when we played at the Emirates, I still believe in the power of the San Paolo. Hell, we beat Dortmund at home, that's more than Arsenal can claim at the Emirates. I guess what I am really trying to say is that all is not lost. In fact there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for our champions league fixtures. I'm a realist so I'm still not completely sold on our advancement. But I'm definitely feeling a lot better with no Dortmund defensive depth and our ultras yelling at Arsenal for an entire game. All I ask of the ultras is, please, could you leave your piss bags at home this time?

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