Saturday October 5 2013
Benitez injury crisis with Livorno

Rafa Benitez is without Gonzalo Higuain, Raul Albiol or Camilo Zuniga against Livorno. “This is a test of Napoli’s maturity.”

The Partenopei host newly-promoted Livorno on Sunday at 14.00 UK time (15.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“Like all Italian teams, Livorno will work hard on the tactics, so it is not going to be easy for us,” said Benitez in his Press conference.

“After the defeat to Arsenal, this will be a test of Napoli’s maturity. We must prove that the team is here, without making the same mistakes as the past. It was a heavy defeat, but let’s not forget we beat Borussia Dortmund, so this is going to be a balanced group.”

That 2-0 Champions League loss at the Emirates was the first time Napoli have lost all season and showed big problems when star striker Higuain is absent.

“Tomorrow we won’t have Albiol, Higuain or Zuniga, as they have physical problems and therefore won’t go on international duty either. Dries Mertens is training extremely well and could start tomorrow. He sets an example for everyone during the week.

“We have a lot of options available to us. In attack Duvan Zapata, Goran Pandev and even Jose Maria Callejon. In defence Bruno Uvini, Miguel Angel Britos and Paolo Cannavaro, so we won’t have problems due to the absentees.

“Marek Hamsik is practically the perfect professional. I speak often with Marek and he knows what I think. I expect a lot from him and above all reminded him he still needs to score another 11 goals!

“We will need calm and patience against Livorno, as well as a proof of character. It will be different to Arsenal, but we must still avoid those same mistakes.”

Napoli squad for Livorno: Rafael, Reina, Colombo; Armero, Britos, Cannavaro, Fernandez, Mesto, Uvini; Bariti, Behrami, Dzemaili, Hamsik, Inler; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne, Pandev, Duvan Zapata

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