On Thursday, Napoli will take on Slovak Bratislava in Slovakia, which will be an especially memorable day for Marek Hamsik, who will be returning to the club and stadium where he started his career. There will surely be some emotional moments during the leadup to the match and after it, but
two three* important Napoli players will be watching those moments from home.
Rafa Benitez named the squad that he'll be taking with him to Slovakia, and each of Raul Albiol, Jorginho, and Camilo Zuniga have been left off the list. Jorginho only just returned to health at the weekend from a muscular, but did not play against Sassuolo, and Zuniga has struggled some with consistent fitness during this campaign, so Rafa saw fit to leave them both in Naples to rest up. As for Albiol, he's looked fatigued and well off-form for most of this season, so a chance to rest and get his head back in place could prove valuable.
Otherwise, the squad is filled with the usual suspects. It remains unclear what sort of lineup Napoli will put out for this match; they rolled out a mostly full-strength squad against Sparta Prague at home, but on the road with three points already won in the group and with a match against Torino at the weekend, we could see a more rotated side.
The full squad that will travel to Bratislava is listed below:
Goalkeepers: Rafael Cabral, Mariano Andujar, Nicola Contini
Defenders: Christian Maggio, Giandomenico Mesto, Henrique Buss, Faouzi Ghoulam, Miguel Britos, Kalidou Koulibaly
Midfielders: Walter Gargano, Gokhan Inler, David Lopez, Jonathan De Guzman, Dries Mertens, Marek Hamsik, Michu
Forwards: Lorenzo Insigne, Jose Callejon, Duvan Zapata, Gonzalo Higuain
Keep in mind that in the Europa League a team can only name an eighteen man matchday squad, so two of the twenty players listed here will be inactive on Thursday.
*Kinda says a lot about how mediocre and forgettable Albiol has been this season that I didn't notice he wasn't in the squad list, eh?