Napoli need a victory over Simone Verdi’s Bologna to recapture top spot from Juventus, but are without injured Raul Albiol in defence.
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The Partenopei must win to get back on top of the table, as Juve already beat nine-man Chievo last night to go two points in front.
Maurizio Sarri is forced into some changes, as Albiol is out with a muscular injury, so Vlad Chiriches steps in at centre-back with Kalidou Koulibaly.
Marek Hamsik returns to the starting XI after suffering from tonsillitis, with the usual suspects of Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon.
Bologna winger Verdi was the number one transfer target for Napoli this month and the two clubs had basically agreed a €25m deal.
However, the 25-year-old pulled the plug, insisting he hadn’t finished his maturation process at the Stadio Dall’Ara and wanted to see out the season with Roberto Donadoni’s side.
It’s safe to say the Napoli fans did not take that snub well, so Verdi is sure to be given a fiery welcome at the Stadio San Paolo.
He starts in the trident attack with Rodrigo Palacio and Federico Di Francesco, but Giancarlo Gonzalez, Vasilis Torosidis and Angelo Da Costa miss out.
It’s a reunion for ex-Partenopei midfielder Blerim Dzemaili.
Napoli have won the last four meetings with Bologna, home and away, scoring 19 goals and conceding two. The last Serie A victory for the Rossoblu in Naples was a 3-2 thriller in December 2012, followed by three losses.
Napoli: Reina; Hysaj, Koulibaly, Chiriches, Mario Rui; Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne
Bologna: Mirante; Mbaye, De Maio, Helander, Masina; Poli, Pulgar, Dzemaili; Verdi, Palacio, Di Francesco
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