Napoli Set to Take On Cagliari Without Star Midfielder

Walter Mazzarri’s skin is not a pleasant place to be these days as Napoli travel to Unipol Domus to take on Cagliari on Saturday. Per Corriere dello Sport via TMW, Piotr Zielinski won’t be available for this must-win trip to Sardinia, adding to the Italian manager’s sizeable headache.

As the report says, the Poland international has reported an inflammation in his leg in the aftermath of Tuesday’s pivotal 2-0 home victory against Sporting Braga in the Champions League. Joining group winners Real Madrid in the competition’s knockout stages amid a dreadful defending campaign in Serie A alleviated some pressure on Napoli. 

However, things are not looking well for the reigning holders. An underwhelming run of three defeats in their last four league outings, bookended by a 1-0 loss at Juventus last Friday, has already brought Mazzarri under scrutiny. 

The veteran manager’s attempt to turn around Partenopei’s fortunes after Rudi Garcia’s dismal tenure has faltered in the early stages. With table-topping Inter already a staggering 14 points off, Napoli can’t realistically hope to defend the crown. It’s barely a thought in southern Italy. 

As it stands, Napoli will fight tooth and nail to secure Champions League qualification this season. Mazzarri must stem the bleeding soon to prevent further downfall. His men have already slid a point behind fourth-placed Roma, hence the importance of winning Saturday’s clash against Cagliari.

Since it’s barely been a month since Mazzarri’s return to Napoli, it’s hard to make any predictions. But given Aurelio De Laurentiis’ exuberant nature, another slip-up in Sardinia could accelerate the Italian coach’s swift departure. 

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