NEWS
Saturday April 3 2021
New Napoli role for Mertens?

Napoli confirm Diego Demme is out, while David Ospina could play against Crotone despite a fractured finger, but Piotr Zielinski will likely be rested so Dries Mertens can take a new role.

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The Partenopei named their squad list this morning and Gennaro Gattuso must do without midfielder Demme and long-term absentee Faouzi Ghoulam.

Ospina was expected to miss out, having suffered an incomplete fracture of the fourth finger in his left hand during training on Tuesday.

However, the Colombia international is still in the squad and it’s not clear if he will start or Alex Meret.

Meanwhile, Zielinski’s COVID test proved to be a ‘false positive’, but following the outbreak at the Poland squad, Napoli are still anxious about his condition.

Multiple reports suggest Zielinski will be rested ahead of the midweek rescheduled fixture with Juventus.

Instead, Mertens could have a new role as a ‘trequartista’ behind Victor Osimhen, flanked by Lorenzo Insigne and Matteo Politano.

The usual candidate to step in for Zielinski was Eljif Elmas, who is fresh from scoring in North Macedonia’s shock victory away to Germany.

Kalidou Koulibaly is suspended, so Kostas Manolas returns with Nikola Maksimovic.

Napoli (probable): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Manolas, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz, Bakayoko; Politano, Mertens, L Insigne; Osimhen