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Cavani-less Napoli also need defenders to challenge Juventus

| 08.07.2013

With Edinson Cavani on the cusp of joining Paris Saint Germain, Napoli may have lost their talismanic striker, but €63m in their kitty gives Rafa Benitez the chance to seriously strengthen his squad to lay down a title challenge to Juventus at 17/2.

Cavani’s 29 goals was six more than anybody else in Serie A last season and he will be tough for Napoli to replace, even if Benitez spent half of the sum he is due to receive from the French champions for the Uruguayan.

There has been no shortage of strikers linked with Napoli in recent days and long-time Tottenham target Leandro Damaio may be the most likely to arrive from Brazil.

However, should this fall through, Napoli are holding Edin Dzeko and Juventus’ Mirko Vucinic as back-up options.

The other big change at Napoli is set to come in formation, with 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2 the preferred styles of Walter Mazzarri.

But given that Benitez has already purchased Dries Mertens from PSV and Jose Callejon is set to follow from Real Madrid, 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 is anticipated to be his chosen formation.

Creativity is certainly rife in Napoli at present, with Marek Hamsik and Lorenzo Insigne also at Benitez’ disposal, but the problems may well be at the other end of the pitch.

Christian Maggio is among the most useful right wing backs in world football, but his positional play can be poor when asked to perform as an orthodox full back.

This could be a problem if Benitez plumps for four defenders, while the decline in form of Paolo Cannavaro is a concern and Hugo Campagnaro has followed former boss Mazzarri to Inter Milan.

Martin Skrtel is one name that has been previously earmarked and would be a worthy addition, alongside Valencia’s French international Adil Rami.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.