Napoli's historic win at the San Siro is... history now. Rafa Benítez and his players don't have much time to celebrate, with a full slate of Serie A and Champions League matches ahead. The partenopei's perfect start to the season and the confidence the team now has makes it easier for Rafa to rest some of his starters. Of course, the fact that they are meeting the weakest team in the league also helps.
Sassuolo's last match also made history, although they would do anything to be able to forget it. The 7-0 loss to Inter Milan is one of the biggest losses in Serie A's recent history. As if that alone wasn't enough, the neroverdi arrive at the San Paolo with no points to their name. While the morale among the partenopei is sky-high, the situation in Sassuolo is exactly the opposite. Everything points to another not very pleasant 90 minutes for Eusebio Di Francesco, whose days at the club are likely numbered unless something changes radically.
Reports in the Italian media suggest that Benítez might really mix it up, leaving both starting center backs Miguel Britos and Raúl Albiol on the bench, replacing them with Paolo Cannavaro and Federico Fernández. Pablo Armero might take a spot on the left side of the defense, with Giandomenico Mesto on the right. Christian Maggio is out ahead of knee surgery, keeping him away for around a month. The two holding midfielders should be Blerim Dzemaili and Gokhan Inler, unless Rafa decides to surprise us all and give Josip Radosevic a start. It is, perhaps, a little surprising that reports indicate Marek Hamšík won't be rested and will take his place behind the striker, most probably Gonzalo Higuaín. Lorenzo Insigne and José "Ziggy" Callejón are expected to sit this one out and make room for Goran Pandev and Dries Mertens.
Di Francesco will also make few changes, but how much it will help this poor Sassuolo side is questionable. He will have his big talent, Domenico Berardi, back in the attack where he and Ezequiel Schelotto will support another potential future star, Simone Zaza, about the only player that looked up for it against Inter. Lino Marzorati is expected to start at right back, while Di Francesco might opt for Luca Antei as Francesco Acerbi's partner in the center of the defense. Simone Missiroli will probably take Yussif Chibsah's place in the midfield.
Napoli injuries and suspensions
Christian Maggio (injured); Juan Zúñiga (in doubt)
Sassuola injuries and suspensions
Emanuele Terranova, Aladje Gomes, Luca Marrone (injured); Marcello Gazzola, Carl Valeri (in doubt)
Projected line ups
Napoli (4-2-3-1): Reina; Mesto, Cannavaro, Fernandez, Armero; Inler, Dzemaili; Pandev, Hamsik, Mertens; Higuain
Sassuolo (4-3-3): Pomini; Marzorati, Antei, Acerbi, Ziegler; Kurtic, Magnanelli, Missiroli; Schelotto, Berardi, Zaza
Wednesday, September 25 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Stadio San Paolo, Naples
Sky Calcio 3 (Italy)
beIN Sport Play