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Young Boys vs. Napoli, preview: Napoli hope to stay top of Europa League group

The Swiss side adore Napoli, apparently, but they're still ready to find their second win in Group I.

Paolo Bruno

Napoli are top of Group I in Europa League, which at least means that they're doing well somewhere. Sure, most of us don't care much about the competition, but at this point, well, why not care? At least it gives us fans a reason to be happy, and thus far we're not having to see the team leak goals. Might as well take the joy where we can find it.

Plus, totally immature Young Boys jokes! Did you know they play in Wankdorf? Please, put that information to good use.

Young Boys vs. Napoli: Thursday, October 23 at 6 p.m. CET, 12 noon ET Stade de Suisse, Bern
Apparently, Young Boys love Napoli

See, we've already got a good joke in. But seriously, were you expecting a detailed tactical preview? Hows about we do you one for the next Europa League game.

We do know that Young Boys are great at home. Last time out they beat Slovan Bratislava 5-0. Not particularly impressive considering Slovan have yet to score in this stage of the competition, but Young Boys do have a five-match winning streak at the Stade de Suisse.

They also may be a bit in awe of the visiting partenopei. Apparently, coach Uli Forte, just one of many players and staff with Italian roots, has long been a Napoli fan. He remembers Diego Maradona being presented at the San Paolo. 31-year-old Raphaël Nuzzolo may not really remember that event, but he says he buys shirts when he holidays in Naples each year. Alas, the two also say that this would mean a Young Boys win would be all the more special.

Damn it. If they really had Italian heritage, they'd throw the match.

Napoli ... well, you know the Europa League Napoli

We're certain to see a few changes from the side that threw away a win at Inter on Sunday. First, there are injuries: Miguel Britos and Camilo Zúñiga will miss out, and Walter Gargano is still hurt. Fortunately, those are the sort of injuries that bring more relief than anxiety. Even missing Zúñiga should be fine, as he looked a bit off in the last match.

As for who we will see, well, there's likely a difference between what Rafa Benítez will do and what would be good for the squad. Playing Gonzalo Higuaín and benching him against Verona should be considered. It's worth doing the same with Gokhan Inler, then fielding Jorginho against his old club alongside David López.

But that's probably not going to happen. We know we'll see Dries Mertens for Lorenzo Insigne, and Faouzi Gholam will take over from the embarrassing Britos (thank goodness that one is out of Rafa's hands). Marek Hamšík will almost certainly start, while the Mister scratches his head and wonders when the captain will find his form again. Pipito will come on to replace Duvan.

Projected Lineups Sure To Be Wrong

Young Boys: Mvogo, Rochat, von Bergen, Wüthrich, Sutter, Sanogo Junior, Lecjaks, Steffen, Gajic, Nuzzolo, Hoarau

While the hosts do have a slew of injuries to contend with, none of them will likely affect the starting XI. Defender Florent Hadergjonaj did start against Slovan, but was on the bench for Sparta. Expect most if not all of the goalscorers from that emphatic win to be on from the start.

Napoli: Rafael, Ghoulam, Albiol, Kouilably, Maggio, Jorginho, David López, Mertens, Hamšík, de Guzmán, Zapata

At a glance

Young Boys: 5th in Swiss Super League, 5W 3D 4 L; 3rd in Group I, 1W 1L

Napoli: 7th in Serie A, 3W 2D 2L; 1st in Group I, 2W

Watch It

TV: Premium Calcio (Italy); BT Sport 1 (UK); Fox Soccer Plus (USA)

Online: ESPN3, Fox Soccer 2 Go (USA)

Other live viewing options can be found here and as always, we'll have a match thread live here for discussion of the game at hand. You can also follow along with us live on Twitter.