Livorno - Napoli Preview: Benitez's Europa hopefuls missing suspended hitman Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain Napoli Arsenal Champions League 12112013

Livorno - Napoli Preview: Benitez's Europa hopefuls missing suspended hitman Higuain

The Partenopei will be looking to keep pace with Juventus and Roma at the top of Serie A after their midweek European success, but will be without their prolific Argentine striker

Rafael Benitez's charges progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League with victory against the Swans, but will be keen to get back to winning ways in Serie A after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Genoa last time out in the league.

11/20 Napoli are 11/20 with Betway to beat Livorno
The Stadio San Paolo outfit could not have asked for a much kinder fixture on their return to the Italian top flight; Livorno, currently 18th and one point adrift of safety, have struggled to make home advantage count this season.

Domenico Di Carlo's men have recorded only three victories at the Stadio Armando Picchi this term, two of which came against the only teams that currently sit below them in the league.

Fourteenth-placed Atalanta are the highest-ranked team Livorno have beaten home or away this campaign and Napoli's opponents this week have suffered four defeats in their last five matches on home soil.

Those figures should make the visitors confident of claiming victory, as should their record of having beaten Livorno in the last five meetings between the sides with a 12-2 goal difference.

Napoli made the best of their attacking depth in the reverse fixture back in October as Goran Pandev, Gokhan Inler, Jose Callejon and Marek Hamsik found the net in a 4-0 triumph.

Victory this time around would aid their quest to keep pace with top two Juventus and Roma, but the Partenopei will be without the suspended Higuain and Raul Albiol, while goalkeeper Rafael is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after surgery on a knee problem.

Livorno's struggle against the drop was made all the more difficult a fortnight ago when captain Andrea Luci was ruled out for the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

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