Analysis

Napoli v Arsenal: Three things to look out for

Insigne

Unai Emery is set to take charge of his 50th game as our head coach on Thursday, as we take on Napoli in the second leg of our Europa League quarter-final clash. 

But where could the game be decided? Read on to find out... 

Callejon’s runs in behind Arsenal’s left-back

Napoli will approach this second leg more positively, and are fully capable of dominating possession for long periods. Expect the defence to take a higher line, and the midfielders and attackers accordingly being allowed into more advanced positions.

One particularly dangerous player could be Jose Callejon. A reliable goalscorer when playing on the right of Maurizio Sarri’s 4-3-3 formation, the switch to a 4-4-2 under Carlo Ancelotti has brought him deeper, more as a provider than a goalscorer. But this week Callejon might be freer to push up the pitch, and he particularly specialises at making late, well-timed runs in behind the opposition left-back, to meet deep crosses from Napoli’s left flank.

Callejon

Insigne cutting inside from the left

Lorenzo Insigne is Napoli’s golden boy – a homegrown talent who now captains the club. Incredible diminutive, at just 5’4, Insigne specialises in taking up inside-left positions, and was excellent in the second half last week as Napoli rallied.

Often drawing out wide to the left before cutting inside, Insigne loves bending the ball inside the far post from long-range. If he’s given time in that position, Arsenal could be punished.

Insigne

Napoli’s Plan B

Ancelotti is likely to start with a front two of Insigne and Dries Mertens, players who were naturally wide forwards during their formative years. Both slender, mobile forwards who like receiving the ball into feet, their movement and interplay can cause problems.

But if Arsenal sit too deep, Ancelotti can introduce Arkadiusz Milik. He was introduced with 25 minutes remaining last week and could appear sooner here. More of a natural penalty box poacher who can get on the end of crosses, Milik is also a fine set-piece taker, and has scored three Serie A goals with left-footed free-kicks this season.

Milik

 

 

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