Napoli manager Rudi Garcia has backed Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to return to form ahead of a busy period for the club.
Georgian winger Kvaratskhelia scored 14 goals last season to help the Serie A title return to Naples, but a calf injury has restricted his involvement during the new campaign.
Kvaratskhelia played twice for Georgia during the international break and Garcia knows he can count on the attacker when Napoli travel to Genoa on Saturday night for the start of a sequence of seven matches in 23 days.
Osimhen and Kvara are on the 12-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men's Player 2023!
Let's hear it for them!
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) September 15, 2023
“Kvara has played 180 minutes (for Georgia). He struggled a bit in the first match and was a bit better in the second, but I am not worried for him,” Garcia told a press conference.
“He was a bit unlucky in the second half against Lazio. He will score and assist again. He could not play for 90 minutes against Lazio, but two full games with Georgia are good news for us.
“We have seven games in 23 days. It will be like a marathon and we must start well having all the group available.”
Last season’s Scudetto winners suffered their first loss of the campaign before the international break when Lazio won 2-1 at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on September 2.
Garcia admitted he will be forced to make changes to his starting line-up for that match and goalscorer Matteo Politano could be on the bench.
Politano trained separately this week with a knock but could still be included on the bench for the trip north.
Garcia added: “Many players were tired yesterday and some are not 100 per cent fit, but I am happy that there are no injuries.
“Matteo Politano should be with us, even if he can’t play for 90 minutes.
“Kvaratskhelia has only started one Serie A game so far this season but is getting back in shape.
“Those who deserve it will play but the starting line-up won’t be the same as against Lazio.
“We must be more efficient up front. It would be important to keep a clean sheet, like against Sassuolo.
“We must be confident because we have a tidy playing style, which must bring us to scoring more goals.”