Lineups are in and...it's sort of what was anticipated. Rather than changing things up in the Swiss midfield, Rafa Benítez put Blerim Džemaili back on the bench, favoring the muscle of Valon Behrami and Gökhan İnler to stop the viola attack.
As expected, Giandomenico Mesto comes in to help out a weary back line. But it's not Christian Maggio he replaces. Nope, Mesto is slotting in at right back once more, as Pablo Armero drops to the bench. On one hand, Mesto at right back fails to impress. On the other...did even one of Armero's crosses come close to its intended target on Sunday? This may have to be a wait and see sort of situation.
But the biggest surprise is that it's Goran Pandev rather than Marek Hamšík that gets the nod. Against Fiorentina. Fiorentina. FIORENTINA.
Year's Best Coach indeed.
Fiorentina:Neto; Roncaglia, Savic, Compper, Pasqual; Borja Valero, Pizarro, Aquilani; Cuadrado, Joaquin, Rossi
Subs: I've lost the will to live.
Napoli: Reina; Maggio, Albiol, Fernandez, Mesto; Inler, Behrami; Callejon, Pandev, Mertens; Higuain
Subs: Rafael, Colombo, Cannavaro, Uvini, Armero, Bariti, Dzemaili, Radosevic, Insigne, Hamsik, Zapata