It’s almost time for the winter break — but there’s still one more match to go, and it won’t be an easy one. Napoli are in Florence to play Fiorentina, an always-tough and often frustrating fixture in recent history. Regardless of the difficulty, however, Napoli desperately need a win here, so can afford no room for error.
To that end, Maurizio Sarri is running out as close to a full strength, attack heavy lineup as he can right now. That means white-hot Dries Mertens, hoping to score his third hat trick in a row. That means Piotr Zielisnki, who has all but supplanted Allan in midfield. Vlad Chiriches continues in defense in place of the injured Kalidou Koulibaly, and otherwise it’s business as usual.
Napoli need to be aggressive enough to shake up Fiorentina’s often-shaky midfield and defense, but not so aggressive that they leave themselves exposed to their potent counter attack potential. It’s going to be an interesting chess match to watch unfold, and hopefully Napoli rise to the occasion once more.
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Chiriches, Ghoulam; Zielinski, Diawara, Hamsik; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne
Fiorentina: Tatarusanu; Salcedo, Tomovic, Astori, Olivera; Cristoforo, Badelj, Vecino; Chiesa, Kalinic, Bernadeschi
When: Thursday, 8:45 p.m. CET, 2:45 p.m. ET
Where: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy
TV: Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1, PremiumSport 2 HD (Italy), BT Sport 1 (U.K.)
Online: beIN Sports Connect (U.S.), Sky Go Italia, Premium Play (Italy)
Listings from LiveSoccerTV.