Napoli vs. PSVBy: Neil | December 6th, 2012
Jimmy returns with his thoughts on Napoli’s final group game. It’s been a very interesting group – as Jimmy rightly points out PSV’s form has been a bit wild which gave Napoli a chance which they took with wins against Dnipro and AIK the last two matchdays. Interesting how Cavani was mostly responsible for those two wins…
Napoli vs PSV
Napoli probable team: Rosati; Uvini, Fernandez, Campagnaro; Maggio, Behrami, Donadel, Dossena; El Kaddouri; Vargas, Cavani
It’s the last group game in the Europa league and Napoli have qualified already, due more to PSV’s wildly fluctuating form than to any great plan from Mazzarri. We can’t overtake Dnipro at the top of the table and can’t be overtaken by PSV or AIK so second place is already assured.
Both teams have big games at the weekend so this will likely be a battle between the fringe players. Napoli should be resting players for a huge test away to Inter and PSV who have lost their last three games in all competitions and fallen from top spot in the Eredivisie have a home game against the current leaders FC Twente.
Rosati will start in goal and the Europa league has been useful in a way in identifying an impending goalkeeper issue. De Sanctis’ form has been on the slide in the last two years and from Rosati’s performances we can see that he is not a suitable replacement. It’s unlikely that there will be any January changes in the goalkeeping department but I would expect a serious reshuffling in the summer.
Fernandez will start in the centre of defence after being suspended for the last Europa league game and Bruno Uvini will make his Napoli debut. Uvini is likely to be loaned out in January so this is his opportunity to show that he deserves to stay at Napoli to fight for a spot in the first team.
Dossena and Maggio are the two two wing-backs which likely means that Mesto is being kept for the Inter game unless Maggio can improve considerably on what we’ve seen of late. Dzemaili was injured in training today so either Behrami or Inler will partner the uninspiring Donadel in the centre.
El Kaddouri will play ahead of them and he showed some nice touches for the limited time he had on the pitch last weekend so hopefully he will continue in this vein. He is also reported to be going well in training so his confidence should be up. Hamsik isn’t even going to be on the bench so it’s likely that El Kaddouri will get the 90mins.
Cavani apparently requested that he play rather than being rested so he will partner Vargas up front. I would expect that Cavani and Pandev will get a half each to give them a run out before the Inter game so cross your fingers and offer a prayer to your deity of choice that Cavani doesn’t get injured in a meaningless Europa league game. This is a gilt-edged chance for Vargas to put in a positive display, PSV are low in confidence and will be fielding a second-string side. He seems to take up good positions and while earlier in the season it seemed he and Cavani couldn’t play together I think he has turned a corner and just needs a goal to spark him into life. He gets chances but doesn’t have that clinical edge that comes with being confident in front of goal.
Napoli have an unbeaten home record to maintain in Europe so I would hope that the players will be up for the game but win, lose or draw we are marching on to the next round…
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