Napoli are preparing to try to take a little revenge tomorrow, as they host Swiss side BSC Young Boys in a Europa League match at the Stadio San Paolo. The Swiss side beat Napoli in the reverse fixture two weeks ago, and Napoli will want to right that wrong as they look to get back on top of the group table.
They'll have to do it without Marek Hamsik, though, as he was left out of the squad list of players Rafa Benitez will choose his matchday squad from. Napoli's captain has been in wonderful form of late, but a bad fever has kept him out of practice and leaves him unavailable for the match.
Also missing will be Michu, who's still struggling with an ankle injury, and David Lopez, who is left out of the squad for unspecified reasons. Rafa noted that there will likely be a number of changes from the side that beat Roma over the weekend, prompting a slew of questions that made him defend his rotation policy once more.
"For many years I’ve been preparing teams to compete throughout the year," Rafa told the assembled media. "We want to do well in every competition, so all the players must be in top condition,and that means they don’t play in some games. I try to rotate players to allow us to always have a high intensity."
Who all steps in to the lineup is up in the air, but it seems likely that Walter Gargano will be one of them. The Masked Man Of Mystery made a surprisingly early return to the squad this weekend, just two weeks after suffering a facial fracture that required corrective surgery. The Uruguayan was sitting alongside Rafa at the press conference, so it would be surprising if he didn't make an appearance.
As far as who replaces Hamsik, that's a tougher question. Michu has normally been the one who rotates in to that role, but he's out as well and frankly hasn't been good anyways. Jorginho has been the next most successful creative midfielder, but has struggled in Hamsik's more advanced role when he's had to take it on later in some matches. Jonathan De Guzman seems like the most likely candidate, but he hasn't played in that spot yet this season and has struggled in recent performances, although it should be noted that he's been played as a right winger, a role he's simply not suited for.
The full 19 man squad list is below. Who do you think comes in to the side for this match?
Goalkeepers: Rafael Cabral, Mariano Andujar, Nikita Contini
Defenders: Christian Maggio, Giandomenico Mesto, Faouzi Ghoulam, Miguel Britos, Henrique Buss, Raul Albiol, Kalidou KoulibalyMidfielders: Walter Gargano, Gokhan Inler, Jorginho, Dries Mertens, Jonathan De Guzman
Forwards: Lorenzo Insigne, Jose Callejon, Duvan Zapata, Gonzalo Higuain