Napoli vs Atalanta, preview: Rafa's rotation policy set to return with Europe on the horizon

Dino Panato

Napoli welcome Atalanta to the San Paolo on Saturday night, with Rafa Benitez likely to have one eye on the midweek Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.

The Partenopei remain one of five sides with a 100% league record after the opening two rounds. Goals have flowed freely in each of their two victories thus far - 3-0 against Bologna, followed by a 4-2 win at Chievo Verona.

However, with a host of players coming back from international duty and this week seeing the start of balancing domestic and European commitments, Benitez may opt to rotate his squad. Blerim Dzemaili could be one to benefit from a runout, while Marek Hamsik could also be one of the players who are rested.

Atalanta have no such distractions, with their sole objective being to secure Serie A survival. Stefano Colantuono's side have enjoyed a mixed start to the season. After going down 2-1 on the opening day at Cagliari, the Orobici rebounded to record a 2-0 home victory against Torino last time out. German Denis will lead the line up front with a point to prove against the side he served between 2008-10. Since leaving Naples, the hitman has netted three times in six appearances against his former side.

Atalanta have experimented with a back three and a back four, both in recent games and during training. Should they choose to pack their midfield, then Marko Livaja may be sacrificed and start from the bench.

Benitez can report a clean bill of health for his side, while neither team have any suspensions at this early stage of the season. Napoli edged a five goal thriller 3-2 in last season's corresponding fixture, but Atalanta left Naples 3-1 victors during the previous campaign. However, if the Nerazzurri have hopes of causing another shock, they will need to cure their travel sickness and snap a run of three straight away defeats in Serie A.

Napoli injuries and suspensions

Out: None

Atalanta injuries and suspensions

Out: Gianpaolo Bellini, Riccardo Cazzola, Luigi Giorgi (injured)

Projected lineups

Napoli: Reina; Armero, Albiol, Cannavaro, Maggio; Behrami, Dzemaili, Callejon; Insigne, Mertens, Higuain

Atalanta: Consigli; Del Grosso, Yepes, Stendardo, Raimondi; Carmona, Cigarini, Kone; Livaja, Denis, Bonaventura

Match date/time: Saturday 14th September 2013, 8:45p.m local, 2:45p.m ET

Venue: Stadio San Paolo, Naples

TV: Sky Calcio 2, Premium Calcio, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia (Italy) beIN Sport Play, RAI Internazionale (U.S)

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