Spalletti: ‘Osimhen to start on the bench in decisive Napoli game’

by | Oct 20, 2021 14:23

Luciano Spalletti reveals Victor Osimhen will start on the bench against Legia Warsaw tomorrow, although the Europa League game against the Polish side is ‘decisive.’

Napoli have only collected one point in two games in Europe so far.

“This is a decisive game, I am convinced that it will be very difficult to remain in the competition if we don’t win,” Spalletti said at a press conference.

“It’s offensive to talk about rotation with these players, I talk about going beyond the group stage,” the coach added.

However, Napoli’s star striker Victor Osimhen will start on the bench.

“Perhaps, it could be his game, but he won’t start because we have a lot of quality up front,” Spalletti admitted.

“Mertens’ return is important because it allows us to have more options. We need certainties and leaders to aim for big results.

“He is one of those, he likes to take his responsibilities. We’ve been waiting for him and we are happy to have him back.

“[Piotr] Zielinski has a minor problem, so he is not available, Mertens will play, he will either start or come off the bench.

“Piotr will remain out as a precaution. He will be available against Roma.”

With Mario Rui serving a one-match ban, Juan Jesus could play at left-back.

“He can do it even if he has different characteristics,” said Spalletti.

“I always take time before deciding the starting XI, but he could play there. I’ll pick up a team that can win the game, we want to win.”

 

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