twelve o’clock, April 11, 2021 – 09:45 am

Against the Samp mini-revolution between attack and defense Koulibaly and Manolas together again after two months. The Nigerian checks on Mertens, Politano warms up

of Ciro Troise

Nine games, 43 days, the mission of returning to the Champions League for Napoli in the time left until May 23, the date of the last championship at Maradona against Verona. After the disappointment of the defeat in Turin, Napoli restarts in its path from Marassi, against Sampdoria, a difficult team that has taken points away from many big players. The Sampdoria beat Inter, Atalanta and Lazio and nailed Milan 1-1 on the last day. On the first leg, Gattuso’s men won their last comeback success. It was December 13, 2020, then the Azzurri were no longer able to win a match starting from a disadvantage. Against Sassuolo, Napoli was one step away from “remuntada” but Manolas’ penalty foul on Haraslin squandered the efforts of Insigne and his companions at the last moment. When Lozano and Petagna in the first leg brought Napoli to victory after a mediocre first half, the tunnel of absences had not yet appeared. In the most acute phases of the emergency Gattuso had very few solutions from the bench to change the games but these are only bad memories.

The squad is almost complete

The squad is almost complete today and, therefore, the law of turn-over is imposed. As for the match against Juventus, this time too we are moving towards five changes compared to the previous match. Ospina is ready to take back the goal after two games of stoppage, the couple Manolas-Koulibaly, who are missing from Napoli-Atalanta of the Coppa Italia on February 3, should return to the center of the defense. Mario Rui will return to the left, in attack there are two changes: from the first minute Politano will act on the right and Osimhen at the center of the attack, with Lozano and Mertens arms in the race in progress. The former Tonelli and Colley, who should form the central couple of Sampdoria, have great physicality and the Napoli match plan will try to move the defensive phase of the Sampdoria a lot, sometimes even accepting to oppose Osimhen in the occupation of the opposing area. Napoli always keeps an eye on Covid-19, the group-team underwent the swab before departure (all negative), a further test at midnight in the hotel in Genoa, the results will arrive in the morning. In the ranks of Sampdoria there are four ex: Tonelli, Gabbiadini, Quagliarella and Ranieri who led the first Napoli after Maradona. For Fabio it is always a particular match, in comparison with Napoli there is a world: the season lived in the blue jersey conditioned by a tremendous personal story, the many comparisons as an opponent even with wonderful goals. Last Saturday he faced Donnarumma, the Stabiese captain of Milan, today he will meet Insigne, whom he crossed eleven years ago in the retirement in Folgaria and in some parts of the national team.

April 11, 2021 | 09:45

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