It's been three straight losses for Napoli, in both Serie A and the Champions League, and it now looks even more unlikely that the boys will break that streak against Lazio. Why? Well, it seems Marek Hamšík will not be available for the trip to the Olimpico.
The Slovak picked up a knock while away on international duty, although many suspected he was carrying an injury before that point. As a precautionary measure, and to save him for the match against Dortmund, Hamšík was rested for the majority of the Parma match. He came on in the 68th minute to replace Goran Pandev, but was pulled off less than ten minutes later thanks to another injury. Needless to say, he then didn't play in Tuesday's match.
Now, once again, it will be Pandev playing behind Gonzalo Higuaín as the side face the biancocelesti. Now, I realize that there are plenty of people quick to defend the Macedonian, and yes, some of them frequent this site. But I'm not one of them. Pandev's command of the match cannot even come close to the way Marek is able to orchestrate a game. When Hamšík is gone, the squad's coherency slips. And Napoli drop points.
Let's hope I'm proven wrong on Monday night.