Although Napoli play with a starting system of 1-4-3-3 Luciano Spalletti likes to transform into a more consistent 1-4-1-4-1 thanks to which he achieves his main objective: good organisation of space and full coordination of all formations in all phases of the game.
The essence of Spalletti’s style is to leave the players considerable freedom to choose their attacking options while maintaining a fairly rigid structure in defence. This brings the answer of low squad rotation, as the above system requires a lot of automatic play from the players and a high level of fluidity.
The Italian takes care of a particular balance in midfield, where the three midfielders rotate from a 2-1 (Lobotka/Anguissa and Zielinski) to a 1-2 (Lobotka and Anguissa/Zielinski) shape.
In a fast attack they prefer the left wing with active use of Kvaratskhelia (or Raspadori), who constantly tries to threaten the rivals’ goal by looking for diagonal channels to enter the box. He works perfectly with the advanced forward (Oshimen, Simeone) who sticking to the central areas not only absorbs the defenders but is also responsible for leading and initiating the team’s pressing.
Napoli’s right wing is used in a more conventional manner looking there for a overloading and progress with combinations of passes with active support of the right wing-back (Di Lorenzo).
In defence Napoli use intense and aggressive pressing both with and without the ball. They press intensively all over the pitch trying to keep opponents as far away from their goal as possible. If the opponent forces the first line of pressure into an active battle in the middle of the pitch they use all three central midfielders, whose task it is to dominate the centre and push their rivals outside, where the success in stopping the opponent’s further progress depends on the work of the two wingers.
The second line then lines up out wide and if still unsuccessful they retreat with the whole formation descending into a low block where it is the three central midfielders who are expected to provide a compact and solid deep defensive structure.