A battered Napoli with low morale, faces the away match in Bergamo where tomorrow night the access to the Italian Cup final will be played with Atalanta.
Rino Gattuso asks for courage and boldness because the team is very penalized by absences and is forced to play in conditions of real emergency.
To Koulibaly and Ghoulam, blocked by Covid and to Mertens who is unable to heal from the sprained ankle last December, Manolas also joined on Sunday, who remedied a blow to his right foot with Genoa.
Yesterday, the Greek defender underwent instrumental examinations that showed a second degree sprain of the ankle involving the anterior peroneal talar ligament and will remain out for a month.
Gattuso therefore has his men numbered.
Ruiz returned to the group, in turn blocked for more than three weeks by Covid, but the conditions of the Spaniard, who has also been called up for Atalanta, are not such as to suggest that he will be used full time.
At most Gattuso will be able to reserve him a piece of the match.
The coach is in difficulty especially to organize the defensive line.
The two central could be Maksimovic and Rrahmani, who have played together only a handful of minutes throughout the season played so far, but Gattuso could also decide to move Di Lorenzo to the center, leaving Hysaj the task of garrisoning the right wing and Mario Rui the left one.
For Atalanta, in addition to striker Cioffi, the 'spring' Costanzo, central defender and Zedadka, winger, have also been called up for the first time this year.
The shortage of players is even more serious looking at the tour de force that Napoli will have to undergo.
To have a seven-day interval between one race and another, he will have to wait for the week between 7 and 14 March.
During this month, between the Italian Cup, the league and the Europa League, Gattuso's team will have to play twice with Atalanta, with Juventus, twice with Granada, with Benevento, with Sassuolo and with Bologna.
In short, a pressing pace to face which Gattuso would need the full squad, while instead he is forced to make do.
In Bergamo, however, Osimhen will be back on the starting line from the first minute, after two brief appearances with Atalanta and Genoa.
The Nigerian is not yet in perfect physical condition but the coach has asked him to make a sacrifice because Napoli are in great difficulty and never before need the contribution of his striker, the most expensive footballer in the history of the club.