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How Napoli could line up against Juventus

Napoli are set to meet Juventus with something of a selection dilemma to resolve – though, thankfully for coach Gennaro Gattuso, one borne of possible options rather than numerous absences.

With skipper Lorenzo Insigne – already on 14 Serie A goals and five assists – the first name on the teamsheet, there are several feasible combinations in the final third.

While former Lille forward Victor Osimhen impressed as the Partenopei’s central striker in the thrilling weekend win over Crotone, Dries Mertens enjoyed the freedom of a deeper role, as cover for Piotr Zielinski.

Though the frequently absent Osimhen has now finally started to find the net, the Nigeria international faces stiff competition from Mertens for the centre-forward’s spot if Gattuso decides to bring Zielinski back into the side after being rested on Saturday.

The attacking midfielder was considered a doubt to face Crotone after a COVID-19 outbreak in the Poland camp, but was subsequently given the all-clear and could return to face last season’s champions from the start.

Having had his spectacular campaign cruelly interrupted by injury in recent weeks, pacy Mexican forward Hirving Lozano has been carefully reintroduced from the bench and may have to remain content with a supporting role, as eight-goal winger Matteo Politano has impressed in his absence

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Gattuso will be relieved that defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly can return from suspension in time to make the trip north and should replace Serbian centre-back Nikola Maksimovic in the side. However, full-back Faouzi Ghoulam remains injured and goalkeeper David Ospina fractured his finger in training last week, so Alex Meret is likely to continue between the posts and Mario Rui will start at left-back.

Both Ospina and former RB Leipzig midfielder Diego Demme returned to training this week, but are considered ready only for the bench on Wednesday evening.

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Bakayoko, Ruiz; Politano, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens

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