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Villarreal-Napoli EUROPA LEAGUE PREVIEW

An interesting matchup--how will both clubs play this first leg? With a strong lineup, or with a number of rotations?

Maria José Segovia

Villarreal have announced a squad of 20 for tomorrow's match in El Madrigal:

Two of these players will be dropped before the match.  Bruno Soriano would appear to be the main doubt, as he has been suffering from flu-like symptoms; if he is able to go, then Rodri would drop off.  Not sure how to interpret Adrián's inclusion, to be honest, but I would be surprised if we fielded four strikers.

Napoli have been hit by illness as well, with playmaker Jorginho missing the trip due to an intestinal virus.  Their squad (again, of 20; one keeper will drop off and one other player as well) is:

Goalkeepers: Reina, Gabriel, Rafael

Defenders: Maggio, Albiol, Chiriches, Koulibaly, Hysaj, Strinic, Ghoulam

Midfielders: Valdifiori, Allan, David Lopez, Hamsik

Attackers: Callejon, El Kaddouri, Insigne, Gabbiadini, Higuain, Mertens

Napoli have some choices to make also.  They usually play a 4-3-3, so probably one of those attackers will drop off.  Napoli have a home match against AC Milan (6th in the Serie A table) on Sunday, and the following weekend travel to Florence to take on Fiorentina (currently third), so coach Sarri may well want to be resting some players in this first leg.

Villarreal play away to Atleti on Sunday, a marquee matchup between two clubs that fight hard on the pitch and don't give up many goals; the following week we host Levante, a match where we need to win against the colista. So Marcelino might make some rotations here, too.  On the other hand, this is a good chance to test ourselves against an excellent club, one that will certainly be in the Champions League next year, and Villarreal has an excellent record against Italian clubs in knockout ties in European competitions.

Prediction: A toughie to predict, as these European ties usually are.  I'll say 1-1.