FIFA 19: Napoli Career Mode Guide, Tactics, Formations & Tips

The closest challengers to Juventus in Serie A, but can you secure a first league title since 1990 for a dangerous Napoli side on FIFA 19?


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. 

Team Rating

Napoli receive a four and a half star rating on FIFA 19, made up by an 84 attack, 83 midfield and 81 defence. 

Formation

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.

Training

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. 

Loans

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)

Reliable goalkeeper

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.

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

OVR

POT

Cost

Wage

Kasper Schmeichel

31

Leicester

Denmark

83

83

£19m

£63k

Stephane Ruffier

31

Saint-Etienne

France

84

84

£20m

£36k

Neto

28

Valencia

Brazil

83

84

£21m

£36k

Oliver Baumann

28

Hoffenheim

Germany

83

84

£25m

£37k

Timo Horn

25

Koln

Germany

83

86

£26m

£22k

Back-up striker

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. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

OVR

POT

Cost

Wage

Emmanuel Boateng

22

Levante

Ghana

76

83

£17m

£20k

Joelinton

21

Hoffenheim

Brazil

76

83

£16m

£23k

Jonathan Calleri

24

Alaves

Argentina

77

82

£14m

£21k

Breel Embolo

21

Schalke

Switz.

76

85

£17m

£21k

Jean-Kevin Augustin

21

RB Leipzig

France

77

85

£19m

£34k

Contracts

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.

Managerial objectives

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. 

Keep building

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

Player

Age

Pos

Country

OVR

POT

Value

Wage

Goalkeepers

David Ospina

29

GK

Colombia

79

79

On Loan

£70k

Orestis Karnezis

32

GK

Greece

79

79

£6m

£42k

Alex Meret

21

GK

Italy

76

89

£11m

£22k

Defenders

Kalidou Koulibaly

27

CB

Senegal

88

91

£53m

£119k

Raul Albiol

32

CB

Spain

84

84

£16m

£77k

Faouzi Ghoulam

27

LB

Algeria

81

81

£13m

£59k

Elseid Hysaj

24

RB

Albania

80

85

£15m

£48k

Mario Rui

27

LB

Portugal

79

80

£10m

£52k

Nikola Maksimovic

26

CB

Serbia

78

81

£10m

£48k

Vlad Chiriches

28

CB

Romania

78

78

£8m

£50k

Kevin Malcuit

26

RB
RM

France

76

77

£7m

£42k

Sebastiano Luperto

21

CB

Italy

70

80

£2m

£16k

Midfielders

Allan

27

CM

Brazil

84

84

£24m

£85k

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

Attackers

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

Arkadiusz Milik

24

ST

Poland

82

88

£27m

£67k

Simone Verdi

25

RW
CAM

Italy

81

81

£17m

£68k

Amin Younes

24

LW

Germany

75

76

£7m

£41k

Adam Ounas

21

RW
LM

Algeria

74

83

£8m

£33k

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On a tight budget?

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Looking for free players?

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Looking for the best players in other positions?

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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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