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Match Talk: Lineups for Napoli - Catania

Rafa Benítez has chosen a surprisingly strong lineup for the visit of relegation-threatened Catania.

Gabriele Maltinti

Juventus beat Parma in the early kickoff, meaning Napoli must take all three points at the San Paolo to keep hold of second place. Fortunately, despite the midweek Champions League match against Marseille, Rafa Benítez has decided to trot out a strong lineup against relegation-threatened Catania.

With Christian Maggio sitting out a one match suspension, Giandomenico Mesto once again steps in at right back, while Pablo Armero comes back in on the left. Surprisingly, Raúl Albiol doesn't get a rest, probably because no one in their right mind trusts Paolo Cannavaro anymore. Captain? What captain?

Oh, that's right, it's Marek Hamšík with the armband, restored to the starting XI after being dropped for some unknown reason against Fiorentina. Also surprisingly, Gonzalo Higuaín plays again, perhaps because Goran Pandev looks like he's been washed up from the depths of the Adriatic. Although it'd be nice to see some more of Duván Zapata.

As for the visitors, well, apparently Gigi De Canio wised up after making up a formation last weekend, one that involved dropping both Mariano Izco and Lucas Castro. Let's just hope that the injury-ridden elefanti still can't make an impression this time out.

Napoli: Reina; Mesto, Fernandez, Albiol, Armero; Dzemaili, Behrami; Insigne, Hamsik, Callejón; Higuain

Catania: Andujar; Alvarez, Gyomber, Legrottaglie, Capuano; Izco, Tachtsidis, Almiron, Castro, Biraghi; Maxi Lopez