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Napoli v. Cagliari: Serie A confirmed lineups and match discussion

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Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

Napoli are rotating heavily for this match, but it's not by choice. Injuries and suspension have a whipping five squad regulars out of the lineup, forcing Rafa Benitez in to making a couple unusual squad choices.

As expected, Jonathan De Guzman starts on the left in place of Insigne and Mertens, starting an experiment that hopefully goes well for Napoli. We expected one of the pivot midfielders to be changed thanks to Jorginho's suspension, but Rafa has elected to change out both of them, throwing out the Walter Gargano-Gokhan Inler pivot that's been of.... questionable value most times we've seen it this season.

One other surprising change was made: Henrique Buss is starting in central defense partnering Kalidou Koulibaly. There had been no word of injury or other issues for Raul Albiol prior to the match, so the reasoning on this one will be quite the something to figure out later on.

Napoli: Rafael; Maggio, Henrique, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Gargano, Inler; Callejon, Hamsik, De Guzman; Higuain

Cagliari: Cragno; Balzano, Ceppitelli, Rossettini, Pisano; Dessena, Crisetig, Ekdal; Ibarbo, Farias, Cossu