OK, ladies and gentlemen. Napoli are in a bind. With the last Champions League matchday here, Napoli have to win this match against Feyenoord in Holland if they want any hope of making the knockout rounds. Even then, they need Manchester City to beat Shakhtar Donetsk if they’re actually going to get the job done. Any points dropped by Napoli or points gained by Shakhtar, and it’s goodbye Champions League, hello Europa League.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Napoli humbled Feyenoord in their first meeting, winning their first points of the group stage at that point. But Feyenoord are still a talented side, and they’ll have their home faithful at their backs this time. Napoli can’t afford any slipups, so it’s good to see that Maurizio Sarri has named about as strong a side as he can at the moment:
With Lorenzo Insigne and Faouzi Ghoulam hurt and both Jorginho and Mario Rui struggling some with fitness of late, this is about as good a starting line up as Napoli can put together right now. Some will be nervous about Amadou Diawara in the pivot of midfield, as his form has been all over the place this season, but he’s shown in his time in Naples that he can step up big when it counts.
This match could also give Piotr Zielinski a chance to shine, a rare start in a more attacking role for the Polish midfielder. Generally relegated to filling in for Allan, ZIelinski does much better when he can show a bit more freedom, and that is exactly what he can do today.
Just win, Napoli. Just. Freakin’. Win.
Where: Stadion Fejenoord, Rotterdam, Netherlands
TV: BT Sport Extra (U.K.), PremiumSport HD, RSI La 2 (Italy), Veronica TV, Ziggo Sport Voetbal (Netherlands)
Online: Fox Soccer Match Pass, ESPN3, WatchESPN (U.S.), Premium Play (Italy)