Thursday February 25 2021
Giuntoli explains Napoli tactics

Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli explains the new three-man defence against Granada, Victor Osimhen’s condition and shot down rumours of a Gennaro Gattuso announcement.

The Europa League Round of 32 fixture kicks off at 17.55 GMT, click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG.

Gattuso revamped his injury-hit side with a 3-4-1-2 formation, using Kalidou Koulibaly in a new back three, having lost the first leg 2-0 in Spain.

“Koulibaly is back, the coach wanted to give a sense of consistency to players in defence and more defensive solidity.

“We believe because we can turn this around, win the game and qualify for the next round,” Giuntoli told Sky Sport Italia.

Another addition to the injury list is Osimhen, who was knocked unconscious during the defeat to Atalanta.

“Osimhen lost consciousness, he also had a drop in blood sugar at the end of the game, so we think he can come back next week. He has been playing a lot lately and a rest might do him good.

“Dries Mertens was out for two months, although his ankle did allow him some training, and we hope to have him play today for a few minutes.”

Juventus announced serious financial problems due to the pandemic, so are Napoli also planning a scaling down of operations?

“Since Aurelio De Laurentiis arrived, the plan has always been to ensure great solidity. That has allowed us to be solid on and off the field even in this most difficult time for everyone in sport.

“There has been a downturn for everyone, but we are keeping things on track.”

Giuntoli was asked if there could be a possible announcement after the game about Gattuso’s future, but the response was to the point.