Napoli are one of the finest clubs in Europe, but their lack of silverware means they don’t have the credibility of some of their rivals. The Gli Azzurri have won two Coppa Italias this decade, the most recent coming in 2014, but the severe issue is that they have only claimed Serie A twice in their history, in 1987 and 1990.
In recent years they have come the closest to hurting Juventus, with Maurizio Sarri taking the club to within four points of the Old Lady last season. Carlo Ancelotti has done well in his first term as manager, but they are now 13 points behind seven-time defending champions Juve despite being nine ahead of third place.
With the league leaders adding Cristiano Ronaldo last summer and already having Aaron Ramsey lined up for next season, Napoli have a lot to do to close the gap, especially with all-time top goalscorer Marek Hamsik heading for China this February.
It’s therefore a big task for you to topple Juventus in FIFA 19’s Career Mode, but Napoli have the capacity to defeat any side on their day. RealSport gives you the blueprint to success at the San Paolo Stadium in Naples.
Napoli receive a four and a half star rating on FIFA 19, made up by an 84 attack, 83 midfield and 81 defence.
With Marek Hamsik departing the club, Napoli have turned to a 4-4-2 formation under Carlo Ancelotti, but to make the most out of the lively trio of Jose Callejon, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne, we have tweaked this to a 4-4-1-1 attack. Other formations you can use is their old 4-3-3 system or a highly aggressive 4-2-4.
The on-loan David Ospina is in goal, with a very reliable back four made up by Elseid Hysaj, defensive rock Raul Albiol (89 marking), one of the world’s finest Kalidou Koulibaly (94 strength) and Faouzi Ghoulam.
Midfield engine Allan (95 stamina) is partnered by Fabian in the middle of park with the exciting Jose Callejon (89 sprint speed) out on the right and star player Lorenzo Insigne (94 acceleration) on the left. Livewire Dries Mertens (94 agility) operates in the hole behind Arkadiusz Milik in attack.
On the bench go for Orestis Karnezis, Nikola Maksimovic, Mario Rui, Amadou Diawara, Piotr Zielinski, Amin Younes and Simone Verdi.
Tactics and instructions
The key to his Napoli side is those three players creating havoc behind the striker. The movement of Jose Callejon (88 positioning), Dries Mertens (93 acceleration) and Lorenzo Insigne (94 acceleration) will stretch the defence, creating holes for one another and opportunities for marksman Arkadiusz Milik (88 finishing).
With all that destructiveness in attack, and the full backs also likely to get involved, it means that Napoli play with two disciplined midfielders. Allan (88 interceptions) will break up play when the opposition attack, whilst Fabian (84 vision) operates as a deep lying playmaker. Whether you want to play on the counter or control the ball, the pairing will dictate the tempo.
If you are still struggling to breakdown the opposition, you can bring on Piotr Zielinski (85 dribbling) who is more attacking midfielder. He can take players on and has the quality to pick a pass, plus his potential means he can fill the void of Marek Hamsik in the next two years.
Your instructions can help you implement these tactics to a greater effect, and your first order of business should be to alter Allan’s attacking support to ‘stay back while attacking’. These means you will always have cover in midfield on the counter-attack, and you may wish to do the same for Fabian against the likes of Juventus. Head to your defensive and ultra defensive gameplans and apply it there.
You will want star man Lorenzo Insigne to mix up his movement so there is no need to adjust him, but you have the pace of Jose Callejon out on the right. Adjust his support runs to ‘get in behind’, which can lead to more goal scoring opportunities.
As for Dries Mertens, you will want him to roam around and be hard to pick up, so you can alter his support runs to ‘drift wide’.
Arkadiusz Milik leads the line, and with all that movement around him, it’s important that he ‘stays central’ on support runs. If all goes well, the creative players will put the ball on a plate for the Pole.
To make the most of your training sessions, you should use the high development players, which is indicated by the green icon. At Napoli, these are Arkadiusz Milik, Fabian, Amadou Diawara, Piotr Zielinski, Elseid Hysaj and Alex Meret.
The Transfer Market
Starting transfer budget: £41 million
Starting wage budget: £171,000 a week
Who should go
Napoli have one of the smallest squads in FIFA 19, so be very careful with who and how many players you sell in the transfer window. You have five centre halves at the club, and aged 28 with a 78 overall, you struggle to see what Vlad Chiriches’s role is. Sell the former Spurs man for around £6.5 million to free up £50,000 a week in your wage budget.
With three goalkeepers at the club and perhaps another one on the way, there is no harm it letting Orestis Karnezis go. The problem is that he has only just joined the club, so you will need to wait until January to sell him. Only then can you claim £4.5 million and save on his £42,000 a week wages.
Once again with a small squad, you may only be able to send a couple of players away on short-term loans from Naples. First up, attacking midfielder Gaetano does provide something different at the club, but the 18-year-old only has a 61 overall. If he grows to 65 by January, he could be in the frame for some game time.
In an ideal world, Alex Meret would be your second-choice goalkeeper, and you could still make this happen, but you would be wasting the resources of your other ‘keepers. Loan the promising stopper out for half a season, and then reassess this situation if you manage to sell Karnezis in January.
Who to sign
New transfer budget: £47 million (+£4.5 million in January)
New wage budget: £221,000 a week (+£42,000 in January)
We are going to throw another goalkeeper into the mix, with the number 1 spot the weakest position in the starting lineup. With Alex Meret perhaps two seasons away from being a trustworthy first-choice goalkeeper, you just need an experienced head to fill the position until then.
You may not be familiar with him, but Hertha Berlin’s Rune Jarstein is a perfect stop gap. Aged 33 at the start of the campaign, he only has two seasons at the top left in him, but with a price of just £16 million, the move makes perfect sense. The Norwegian international has an 83 overall with stats of 86 GK positioning, 84 GK reflexes and 82 GK handling. His wages are currently only £29,000 a week.
An outfielder is certainly needed, and with Arkadiusz Milik the only conventional striker on your books, you need cover in there. He can’t play every game, and even if you were to revert to Napoli’s previous false 9 formation, you need an alternative.
Kasper Dolberg is one of the big bargains on FIFA 19, with the Ajax striker having a release clause of £16.9 million. His 76 overall can improve to an 85 potential, with the 20-year-old having stats of 87 shot power, 78 ball control and 77 long shots.
|Jean-Kevin Augustin||21||RB Leipzig||France||77||85||£19m||£34k|
No players have contracts running out this season at Napoli. The men to keep an eye on for the following campaign are Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens, so it may be worth renewing theirs sooner rather than later.
It’s still a task of finding the formula for success at Napoli, with the gap between them and Juventus still a chasm. Your domestic success goal is therefore to reach the Coppa Nazionale final and qualify for the Champions League. Not only that, you will be expected to bring home the Serie A title next season.
For domestic success, you will be asked to reach the Champions League final, a very tough task given the size of Napoli’s squad.
Brand exposure sees you needing to gain £132 million shirt sales over the season. Bring in big name signings and rack up the goal tally to achieve this.
Youth development has a low importance, and here you will need to grow a youth academy by five overall points and then play them in five matches over the season. With the small squad, you will be relying on some promising homegrown youngsters to fill out the roster.
Lastly, your financial goal is to reduce wages by £8,800 a week. Selling a couple of players should help you achieve this, but with no player’s contracts up, you may need to have some tough contract talks with some of your players to have their wage costs reduced.
The managerial objectives at Napoli are strange given how far they are still off Juventus. If it was to concentrate on two competitions it would be feasible, but to finish in the top four and reach both the finals of the Champions League and Coppa Nazionale is strange.
Due to the lack of depth and the fact Napoli are in the group of death in the Champions League with PSG and Liverpool, getting to knockout rounds will still be an achievement. If you were to reach the quarter-finals in Europe you could hold your head high, or if you get bumped into the Europa League, as Napoli have in real life, you can target the trophy.
Cup success is realistic possibility if you do get knocked out of Europe early, and with Juve the only fixture to be fearful of, you could win that competition this season. If you continue to sign well over the next two campaigns, you could topple Juventus in the not so distance future.
Full Napoli player ratings
|David Ospina||29||GK||Colombia||79||79||On Loan||£70k|
|Kevin Malcuit||26||RB RM||France||76||77||£7m||£42k|
|Fabian||22||CM CDM CAM||Spain||82||90||£28m||£61k|
|Piotr Zielinski||24||CM LM||Poland||82||88||£27m||£61k|
|Amadou Diawara||20||CM CDM||Italy||76||84||£10m||£34k|
|Gianluca Gaetano||18||CAM ST||Italy||61||81||£500k||£4k|
|Lorenzo Insigne||27||LW ST||Italy||88||88||£55m||£145k|
|Dries Mertens||31||CF ST||Belgium||87||87||£40m||£119k|
|Jose Callejon||31||RW RM||Spain||84||84||£24m||£92k|
|Simone Verdi||25||RW CAM||Italy||81||81||£17m||£68k|
|Adam Ounas||21||RW LM||Algeria||74||83||£8m||£33k|