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Full squad back in Napoli training; Goran Pandev out for Barcelona friendly

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With the Barcelona friendly tomorrow, Napoli have their full squad back in training after the return of the final groups of players from the World Cup, but they'll still be a man short thanks to injury.

Paolo Bruno

Tomorrow brings the biggest friendly of Napoli's pre-season, as the partenopei take on Barcelona in Geneva. Today was Napoli's last training session before departing for Switzerland, and it also marked the first training session that the entire squad was present for.

Gonzalo Higuain, Mariano Andujar, Henrique Buss, and Camilo Zuniga all returned over the weekend, and Federico Fernandez came back today. That means that Rafa Benitez finally has his full suite of tactical options available to him as the season, and more importantly the Champions League playoff round, rapidly approach in the coming weeks.

Alas, Rafa won't quite have a full-strength side available tomorrow; Goran Pandev was held out of training with what was called a "slight muscle strain". Given as it doesn't seem likely that Pandev plays a major role for Napoli this season (assuming he isn't sold), that's probably no big loss, and there's not much reason to risk causing further harm to a player the club is planning on selling anyways.

The following players are listed as having been selected for tomorrow's matchday squad:

Goalkeepers: Rafael Cabral, Mariano Andujar, Roberto Colombo

Defenders: Christian Maggio, Giandomenico Mesto, Camilo Zuniga, Faouzi Ghoulam, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raul Albiol, Miguel Britos, Sebastian Luperto

Midfielders: Gokhan Inler, Walter Gargano, Jorginho Frello, Blerim Dzemaili, Marek Hamsik, Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon,

Forwards: Eduardo Vargas, Michu, Gonzalo Higuain, Duvan Zapata

The friendly itself is going to be a stern test; Barcelona are undergoing a lot of changes this summer and losing a lot of their core talent, but are still a very, very good side that will be tough to beat. This and the PSG friendly next week will be an excellent preparation for the Champions League playoff matches, as even in a friendly, the top-shelf quality of both sides will almost certainly be tougher opposition than whoever Napoli can be drawn with for their attempt to reach the group stage.

The friendly tomorrow will be at 2PM EST/7PM BST/8PM CET, and you can find TV listings for various countries here. The second leg of the Champions League Third Qualifying round is also tomorrow throughout the day, so we'll learn who Napoli can be drawn against in Friday's Playoff Round draw then. If you need a refresher on who Napoli can be facing, you can find it here.