Sassuolo vs. Napoli, preview: Come on boys, make this easy

Claudio Villa

Can Sassuolo pull a rabbit out of a hat against Napoli, or will the visitors' B-side roll right over the neroverdi "defense"?

Will Napoli be able to put seven goals past Sassuolo? Who cares. These matches against the minnows were the ones that always seemed way too difficult under Walter Mazzarri. Rafa Benítez has proved himself against the big boys with the wins against Dormund and AC Milan. Now he's got to prove that he knows how to not grow complacent and drop points in the most unexpected manner.

The match against Sassuolo is made more difficult by the fact that Rafa must rest players. It's Genoa at the weekend, then Arsenal next week, followed by Livorno in round 7. That should give the partenopei enough time to get some rest. Benítez pulled Marek Hamšík early against Milan, realizing the Slovak was exhausted -- it was just one or two misplaced passes, but for Marek, that was enough of an indication. Let's hope he gets a day off against Sassuolo. José Callejón, too, could use a bit of rest, as could Gonzalo Higuaín. And let's see another left back, shall we?

Keep 'em on the bench, but unless Eusebio Di Francesco makes some drastic changes after the 7-0 loss to Inter Milan, Napoli's B-side should be able to beat Sassuolo with one foot tied behind their backs. The side is ill prepared for Serie B, and what veterans they have aren't providing much assistance. Well, ok, Ezequiel Schelotto isn't actually getting assistance. But Antonio Floro Flores was absolutely horrendous, doing nothing productive throughout the match.

Then there's the neroverdi "defense." It's, um, not good. Di Francesco favors an attack-minded lineup, but at some point, there has to be at least a nod at attempting to defend. There was none of that on Sunday. Sassuolo played a very high line and kept getting caught out, allowing an Inter side that, quite frankly, wasn't as clinical as it could have been, to dance behind the line and take approximately 397 shots.

So it should be simple for Napoli to take away three points. Yet somehow, it still feels like Sassuolo could sneak one in here. Catch the defense napping. Seek revenge for the Inter match. Something. Perhaps it's just because it seems like perfection just can't last.

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