FBL-EUR-C3-NAPOLI-SALZBURG

RB Salzburg vs Napoli: Carlo Ancelotti's Best Available Partenopei Lineup

Napoli will travel to Austria to take on RB Salzburg at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday night in the second leg of their round of 16 Europa League matchup.


The Italian side head into the match with a 3-0 aggregate lead, but will have to stay alert as they have two key central defenders out of the match due to suspension. Napoli will still look to see the match out and avoid any injuries heading into the final stretch of the season. 


Here's how Carlo Ancelotti could line up his side for the match against Salzburg.

3. Goalkeeper and Defenders

Alex Meret (GK) - The 21-year-old goalkeeper has been between the sticks for Napoli in every Europa League match this season. Meret has kept two clean sheets in three matches in the competition this season and will be looking to bounce back after being shown a red card against Juventus in his previous match. 


Faouzi Ghoulam (LB) - Ghoulam has been in and out of Ancelotti's side this season and did not feature in the first leg in Naples. With Kalidou Koulibaly and Nikola Maksimovic out due to suspension, the Algerian will slot into the left-back spot for the match as the squad shuffles the defence to cope with their absences. 


Sebastiano Luperto (CB) - Despite not being in the squad for the first leg matchup, Luperto will probably get the nod in the middle of the defence. The 22-year-old will have a tough task in this match, but will have the opportunity to show his worth in the competition. 


Vlad Chiriches (CB) - After having only returned from a terrible knee injury in February, Chiriches may get just his second start of the campaign in the match against Salzburg. The 29-year-old Romanian midfielder started and played the first half in Napoli's 1-1 draw with Sassuolo on Sunday night, and will look to build up his form by the end of the season.


Elseid Hysaj (RB) - Hysaj will be the only regular starter in the back four for Napoli in this match. The Albanian defender will be tasked with leading the back line, as well as getting up the right flank to create chances for his team.

2. Midfielders

Simone Verdi (LM) - Verdi was deployed on the left wing in Napoli's Serie A match against Sassuolo on Sunday night and he will be expected to start in the same position on Thursday. The Italian has struggled with injuries this season, but will look to add to his tally of just two assists in all competitions.


Piotr Zielinski (CM) - Zielinski has featured in every European match for Napoli this campaign and has started all three Europa League games. The Polish midfielder will be the heart of the midfield and will attempt to open up the Salzburg defence at every opportunity. He will also be keen on adding to his five goals in all competitions this season.


Amadou Diawara (CM) - With two regular centre-backs out for Napoli in this match, Diawara will have an important role as the defensive midfielder. He will be tasked with sitting in front of the back four and cutting out any Salzburg attacks that may come through the middle of the park.


Adam Ounas (RM) - With Napoli set to rest some key starters for the match, expect Ounas to get the nod on the right side of the midfield. Ounas will have a tough time breaking down a Salzburg defence that hasn't allowed more than one goal in their previous 16 home European matches. 

1. Forwards

Arkadiusz Milik (FW) - Milik grabbed the opening goal in the first leg match-up in Naples last week. His hold-up play will be crucial if Napoli are to extend their aggregate lead and coast into the quarter-finals. The Polish forward will be looking to add to his 16 goals and three assists in all competitions this season. 


Dries Mertens (FW) - The Belgian 31-year-old will be the star man for Napoli in this match. Many stars will get a rest, but expect the lively Mertens to drive at the Salzburg defence as much as possible. His connection with Milik is always dangerous and he would love to add to his tally of 11 goals and nine assists this campaign.