Walter Mazzarri believes the break was just what Napoli needed ahead of their tricky trip to Palermo and new boy Eduardo Vargas is coming along.
“The lads came back motivated, as we needed this time off to recharge our mental batteries,” revealed the Coach.
“Vargas looked good in training and I will include him in the squad for this game so he can really settle in. I haven’t spoken to him much, but brought Hugo Campagnaro along to help translate. He’s smart and for now that’s all I can say.”
Vargas is not the only ‘new’ arrival, as Miguel Angel Britos finally recovered from his long injury problems, though Ezequiel Lavezzi is sidelined for a month.
“I always work for the good of the team and changing tactics to put Marek Hamsik in midfield is an option. He is a universal player, but I want to understand if this is worth the risk.”
Napoli are without a victory in Palermo for 35 years, so this is a particularly dangerous match to open 2012.
“We have a poor away record because many of our games were right after the Champions League, so we were exhausted. Palermo are a difficult opponent who lost once on home turf and won all the others, while traditionally we do very badly here.
“We must only focus on approaching this match the best way without thinking about all this. I expect a great performance, but as for the result, that is always down to unpredictable incidents.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.