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Spalletti: ‘Napoli can be forgotten or remembered as heroes’

Luciano Spalletti takes on Lazio and warns after the defeat to Barcelona that Napoli ‘are at a crossroads, so must choose whether to be forgotten or remembered as heroes.’

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.50 GMT and follows on from both teams crashing out of the Europa League play-offs.

The Partenopei were crushed 4-2 at home by Barcelona, while Lazio went out 4-3 on aggregate against FC Porto.

“What irritates me is that we were not up to our own standards,” said Spalletti in his press conference, on the huge errors that saw them go 2-0 down within 13 minutes on Thursday.

“So far this year, we have lacked the identity that we had at the start of the season. This style of football demands quality. If that quality is lacking, it can become a boomerang and come back to hurt us.

“If we are not able to control the ball and play it out from the back with precision, we risk getting embarrassed.”

The fight for the Serie A title is wide open, as again Milan and Inter dropped points last night against Udinese and Genoa respectively.

“It’s a real battle with many teams that can still get back into the Champions League zone and the title race. I know my players, they recognised this moment, and from now on we’ve got to step on the gas.

“It still always depends on us. I won’t say what our chances are of winning the league, as it’s true we lost momentum, but also have many mysterious sources that can give us solutions to many issues. We play with confidence, knowing this is a chance we can take.

“This is a match that is a big opportunity for us and the solution is to play as Napoli, as a great team. Keep our heads up, take our opponents head-on and let them know we are prepared to play for the win.”

Victor Osimhen should be ready to start after some knee concerns, while Stanislav Lobotka can have a place on the bench, but Hirving Lozano and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa remain on the treatment table.

The coach was asked if Napoli felt a lack of…

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