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Napoli vs. Slovan Bratislava: Confirmed lineups, match discussion, and echoes

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The last Europa League group stage matchday is here. Napoli have secured advancement to the round of 32, but need to win in order to make sure they finish first in the group.

That hasn't kept Rafa Benitez from tinkering with his lineup, though. Marek Hamsik starts in attacking midfield, flanked by Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon as expected. Kalidou Koulibaly also starts in the back line, returning from his suspension/injury combination from the weekend. Elsewhere, though, there's a few changes for rotation and rest purposes... and one surprise debut.

Duvan Zapata starts up top for the second match in a row, in order to make sure Gonzalo Higuain is rested and ready for the big match against Milan at the San Siro on Sunday. Pipita made some noise during the week about wanting to start this match, but apparently Rafa felt it was better to be a bit more cautious with his lead striker.

Elsewhere, the midfield pivot or Gokhan Inler and Walter Gargano rides again; that pairing either does decently or terribly, so let's hope for the less-bad outcome today. Miguel Britos is also starting in central defense, which could prove interesting. The most interesting name in the lineup, though, is Mariano Andujar; the backup goalkeeper is finally making his debut today, getting some low-stress minutes in goal and giving Rafael a chance to take a breather.

Napoli: Andujar; Maggio, Koulibaly, Britos, Ghoulam; Inler, Gargano; Mertens, Hamsik, Callejon; Duvan

Slovan Bratislava: Pernis; Cikos, Jablonsky, Gorosito, Kolcak; Hudak, Zofcak, Milinkovic; Kubik, Stefanik; Peltier

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