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Napoli v Arsenal: preview and possible line-ups

Pin Outbound midfielder Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring in the first-leg. AFP.
Outbound midfielder Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring in the first-leg. AFP.

Napoli v Arsenal: preview and possible line-ups

Tom Cunild by Tom Cunild @besoccer_es - 0 +10k

Arsenal make the trip to southern Italy protecting a 2-0 lead from the first leg at the Emirates a week ago. The Gunners will face Valencia or Villarreal if they can overcome what promises to be a stern test against Carlo Ancelotti's men.

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Having not featured since January and March respectively, long-term absentees Raul Albiol and Amadou Diawarra will once more play no part in this Europa League quarter-final tie.

'Gli Azzuri' welcomed back diminutive forward Lorenzo Insigne in the first-leg, but he looked short of match-sharpness on his return from injury and it seems likely that Ancelotti will reinstate Polish forward Arkadiusz Milik to the starting XI. There could also be a start for backup defender Kevin Malciut, who has been impressive when filling in for Elseid Hysaj this season and will hope to challenge the Albanian full-back for a starting spot.

What is for sure is that Napoli will need a much improved performance following their dismal showing at the Emirates a week ago.


The North London outfit will be without Denis Suárez for the second-leg as he joins Hector Bellerín, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck on the long-term injury list. There is a slight concern over the fitness of Uruguayan defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira who seemed to struggle with a groin injury against Watford on Monday night. Unai Emery may therefore choose to err on the side of caution and start Matteo Guendouzi and the fit-again Granit Xhaka in centre-midfield. 

Alexandre Lacazette is in line for a recall after not featuring against Watford, and Sokratis is likely to replace fellow countryman Konstantinos Mavropanos at heart of the English side's defence despite the youngster helping Arsenal keep their first away clean sheet of the season. 

Managers' Thoughts

Ancelotti outlines keys to second-leg turnaround

“Three things we need to get to the semi-final? Courage, intelligence and heart" the 59 year-old suggested, before highlighting the importance of the San Paolo Stadium's famous atmosphere: “The crowd at the San Paolo will be a boost for us if we can put in a top display".

Emery praises Napoli but insists Arsenal are ready for the test

"They are a great club with a great president and a great coach here. Ancelotti is a three-time Champions League winner. They have great players." he declared, conceding that Arsenal's chances of going through are stll "fifty-fifty, it’s not changed for me".

Recent Form:


Possible Starting XIs: 



Napoli: Meret; Hysaj, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Rui; Callejon, Allan, Ruiz, Zielinski; Insigne, Milik

Arsenal: Cech; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Kolasinac; Ramsey, Ozil; Lacazette


Tom Cunild

Tom Cunild

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