Napoli will be looking to bounce back from last weekend's loss to Serie A rivals Juventus as they travel to Spain to face Villarreal in Europa League action. Although the loss is still surely being felt by the team there's little time to sulk, and the squad must shift their attention toward a more than capable European opponent.
An away goal or two would go a long way toward helping forget the weekend's disappointing loss and would certainly help Napoli's chances of advancing on to the next round of Europa League play, with forward Gonzalo Higuain no doubt eager to get back to his goal scoring ways after a frustrating outing against Juventus.
Both sides come into the match missing players due to injury with Villareal missing defender Eric Bailly (shoulder) and midfielder Samu Garcia (foot injury) while Napoli will be without the services of Brazilian midfielder Jorginho. While the absence of Bailly and Garcia may be minimal for Villarreal, the absence of Jorginho could be huge as he's been an ever present part of Napoli's three man midfield this season.
Napoli may be the favorites for a draw -- or win -- but that doesn't mean that their opposition should be taken lightly. The Spanish club, currently 4th place in La Liga, have a history of competing well in European competition. While Napoli trounced them easily in the Champions League in 2011, this is a much different and better Villarreal side than they were back then. El Madrigal is also a difficult venue for even the best sides to visit, with Villarreal already boasting home victories over Atletico, Real Madrid and Sevilla this season. Escaping with a draw might be a good enough result to please Maurizio Sarri, with a win being just an added bonus.
Goalkeepers: Reina, Gabriel, Rafael
Defenders: Maggio, Albiol, Chiriches, Koulibaly, Hysaj, Strinic, Ghoulam
Midfielders: Valdifiori, Allan, David Lopez, Hamsik
Attackers: Callejon, El Kaddouri, Insigne, Gabbiadini, Higuain, Mertens
Goalkeepers: Areola, Barbosa
Defenders: Rukavina, Mario, Jaume Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Bonera, Musacchio.
Midfielders: Pina, Bruno, Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos, Denis Suárez, Castillejo, Nahuel, Rodri
Strikers: Soldado, Bakambu, Leo Baptistao, Adrián
TV: ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish), Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1, Sky Calcio 5 (Italy)
Online: Fox Soccer 2 Go (U.S.), beIN Sports Connect Spain (Spain), BT Sport Live Streaming (U.K.)
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