Napoli Boss Luciano Spalletti Comments on Tactical Changes Ahead of Lazio Clash

Luciano Spalletti concedes Victor Osimhen’s injury has forced tactical changes at Napoli ahead of their mouth-watering Serie A clash against Lazio. With the Nigerian out of the picture due to head trauma, the all-time Partenopei goalscorer Dries Mertens will return to the starting line-up against the Biancocelesti tomorrow. 

Osimhen and Mertens are both highly prolific forwards, but their playing style is not similar by any stretch of the imagination. While the ex-Lille man relies on his strength and pace, the Belgian star is more technical and possesses a lethal right foot. It’s enough to take a glance at their physical stature to understand how different types of players they are. 

Despite his inconsistent playing time due to suspension and injuries, Osimhen has been Napoli’s best scorer in Serie A this season. The 22-year-old has tallied five league goals so far, and his absence could have a devastating impact on the home side’s attacking output at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium tomorrow night.

It will be up to the experienced Mertens to fill the gap following his eye-catching cameo appearance against Inter last time out. The 34-year-old replaced Lorenzo Insigne in the final quarter of the game and went on to slot home a superb long-range effort in Napoli’s heartbreaking 3-2 defeat at the Giuseppe Meazza.

It was Napoli’s first Serie A loss this season, with the Partenopei going on to lose 2-1 to Spartak Moscow in midweek Europa League action. Now would be a perfect time for the southern giants to return to winning ways, especially with second-placed Milan breathing down their necks. 

Spalletti explained how Mertens’ return to the fold would impact Napoli’s game in the build-up to Sunday’s clash against Lazio.

This squad is of a certain level, we already missed Dries Mertens for the first few games and had limited midfielders available, but we still got the results we wanted,” he said, as relayed by TUTTOmercatoWEB.

We have nothing to prove, we just have to work every day and do what needs to be done. Our last few results haven’t been what we wanted, while Lazio are among the group of seven or so teams challenging for the same targets.