After the *insert inappropriate word here* (ahem, mess) that was the Italian Super Cup in China, Walter Mazzarri, Goran Pandev, Andrea Dossena and Camilo Zuniga were all issued bans. Mazzarri's was lifted in favor of a €20,000 fine, but Pandev and Dossena remain banned for the first two matches in Serie A, while Zuniga sits out for one.
These bans have to force a change in Mazzarri's plans for the opening match against Palermo. With the departure of Ezequiel Lavezzi, he's "shifted" his adherence to the 3-4-2-1 to a 3-5-1-1, dropping Marek Hamsik back to midfield and putting Pandev behind Edinson Cavani. And this formation has been working for him, with preseason triumphs over Bayern Munich and Olympiacos. Hell, our Napoli even looked good against Juventus, hitting hard on the counter, until they went into tantrum-mode.But with Pandev out, someone else must fill that role behind El Matador. That substitution seems simple enough -- let Lorenzo Insigne have a run-out. Or Eduardo Vargas. Isn't that what they're for? Not just to sit around and look pretty?
Then there's the left side, the notorious weakness of the partenopei. It's terrifying to think that in Mazzarri-world, this could mean shifting Salvatore Aronica to leftback and placing, say, Miguel Britos in at the back.
Napoli have managed to do nothing over the summer save reinforcing a central midfield. Unless one of our Swiss contingent can play on the left (why do I feel Blerim Dzemaili has done it before?) we're sort of screwed. I guess it's time to just wait and see what Sunday brings.