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Slovan Bratislava v. Napoli: Europa League lineups, match discussion, and reunions

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Giuseppe Bellini

Napoli resume their Europa League campaign, travelling to Slovakia to face down Slovan Bratislava. The match also marks Marek Hamsik's return home to Slovakia and the club that launched his storied career, giving the even extra spice that your typical Europa fixture lacks.

As expected, Duvan Zapata is starting up top in place on Gonzalo Higuain and Marek Hamsik is in midfield to start in his old stomping grounds, but some of the other rotation went in unexpected directions. We're getting to see the debut of the theoretically intriguing Gokhan Inler-David Lopez double pivot, and Jonathan De Guzman is making his first Napoli start, though he's doing it from the right wing, a spot he doesn't have much history at.

It also suggests a potentially more narrow formation for Napoli, which could work in this instance. Christian Maggio's main issue in his decline has been a loss of pace, but Slovan are not a fast team, so he and a healthy Faouzi Ghoulam could be able to provide the width needed today. With De Guzman and Dries Mertens tucking in closer to Hamsik and Zapata, it could help Napoli overwhelm a back line that should already be overmatched. Plus, being able to bring Jose Callejon's pace off the bench seems potentially unfair under the circumstances.

But then there's Miguel Britos at center back, so who the hell knows how things are going to work out.

Lineups:
Slovan Bratislava: Pernis; Cikos, Ninaj,Gorosito, Jablonsky; Kubik, Grendel, Lasik, Peltier; Halenar; Soumah

Napoli: Rafael; Maggio, Koulibaly, Britos, Ghoulam; Inler, Lopez; Mertens, Hamsik, De Guzman; Zapata

The match will start shortly at 7:00 PM CET/1:00 PM EST. Television coverage will be on Premium Calcio in Italy, BT Sport 1 in the UK, and FOX Soccer Plus in America. Other live viewing options can be found here (links to illegal streams in the comments will be removed and repeat offenders banned), and as always, you can also follow along with us live on Twitter. If you haven't already, join the community on the Siren’s Song, and join in the discussion below!