Chievo Verona vs. Napoli, Preview: Flying Donkeys hope to burst Benítez's bubble

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Napoli won comfortably in their opening game of the season, but Chievo Verona could prove to be much tougher opponents this weekend.

Napoli started the season with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Bologna, and already look well accustomed to the tactics of Rafael Benítez. Winger José Callejón netted a goal on an impressive debut, while the team's undisputed star man -- playmaker Marek Hamšík -- chipped in with a brace. However, that was against a Bologna team that barely put up a fight, with this weekend's opponents Chievo Verona likely to be tougher to beat.

More from our team blogs: Napoli blog The Siren's Song

The Flying Donkeys have had a pretty thorough revamp of their own this summer, with Giuseppe Sannino hired as coach and several new players brought in. They drew 0-0 against Parma in their opening match, though were arguably the better side on the field. Recent arrivals Alessio Sestu and Ivan Radovanović played starring roles, and only a great display from Parma keeper Antonio Mirante saw the crociati sneak a point.

Typically tough to beat at the Bentegodi, Chievo should prove to be stern opponents for Napoli. Sannino likes his teams to use a lot of width, playing a compact 4-4-2 with a lot of pace on the counter-attack. With winger Sestu potentially dangerous down the left, Napoli's Christian Maggio needs to be especially disciplined at right-back, while centre-backs Raúl Albiol and Miguel Britos will have to stay tight to creative attacker Cyril Théréau.

The Flying Donkeys have only one definite absentee, with veteran defender Dario Dainelli unavailable through injury. Despite Napoli having Blerim Džemaili and Pablo Armero back from suspension, they could keep the same starting eleven from the game against Bologna, with Valon Behrami and Gökhan Inler the preferred sitting midfielders. Gonzalo Higuaín is fit to play despite hitting his face during a boat trip to Capri, though Duvan Zapata hasn't been included in Benítez's squad and won't make his debut.

Chievo Verona injuries and suspensions

Out: Dario Dainelli (injured). In doubt: None.

Napoli injuries and suspensions

Out: Duvan Zapata (not included in squad). In doubt: None.

Projected lineups

Chievo Verona: Christian Puggioni; Boukary Dramé, Boštjan Cesar, Paul Papp, Gennaro Sardo; Alessio Sestu, Luca Rigoni, Ivan Radovanović, Riccardo Improta; Alberto Paloschi, Cyril Théréau

Napoli: Pepe Reina; Juan Zúñiga, Raúl Albiol, Miguel Britos, Christian Maggio; Gökhan Inler, Valon Behrami; José Callejón, Marek Hamšík, Goran Pandev; Gonzalo Higuaín

Match Date/Time: Saturday, 6 p.m. local, 12 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona, Italy

TV: RAI Internazionale (U.S. and Canada - Italian), beIN Sport en Español (U.S. - Spanish), Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)

Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S.)

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