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Napoli squad for Empoli light on defense, heavy on questions

With Kalidou Koulibaly suspended and Giandomenico Mesto injured, Napoli's squad is looking a little thin on the back line for this match.

Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

The news of Kalidou Koulibaly's injury wasn't the only blow to the Napoli defense; Giandomenico Mesto sat out practice with a knock of his own, meaning that between that and Koulibaly's suspension, Napoli's defense is two men light.

Rafa Benitez is trying to counter that by calling youngster Sebastiano Luperto from the primavera squad to join the matchday squad when Empoli come to town tomorrow. Luperto has been on the fringes of the squad for awhile now, and while on a whole his preseason appearances with the first squad were a mixed bag, the 18 year old had some impressive moments against Barcelona and PSG when called upon.

Also of concern, at least in parts of the media, is Gonzalo Higuain. He's in the matchday squad, but apparently yesterday's precautionary absence from practice has blossomed in to a potential rest in tomorrow's match. As we discussed previously, some extra rest for Higuain this month seems likely, though him playing this weekend and sitting out the last Europa League group match seemed more likely. Still, if Pipita isn't at 100%, then the smart course of action would be to give him the day off instead of risking further harm.

The full twenty man squad available for tomorrow's match is, as always, listed below for your perusal.

Goalkeepers: Rafael Cabral, Mariano Andujar, Roberto Colombo

Defenders: Christian Maggio, Raul Albiol, Sebastiano Luperto, Henrique Buss, Miguel Britos, Faouzi Ghoulam

Midfielders: Gokhan Inler, Josip Radosevic, David Lopez, Jorginho, Walter Gargano, Dries Mertens, Jonathan De Guzman, Marek Hamsik

Forwards: Gonzalo Higuain, Duvan Zapata, Jose Callejon