Napoli have suffered a triple injury blow ahead of their Europa League quarter final with Arsenal.
Star forward Lorenzo Insigne, former Tottenham defender Vlad Chiriches and Guinea international Amadou Diawara have all been ruled out of action for three weeks.
The trio will almost certainly miss Napoli’s next four Serie A matches and face a race against time to regain fitness ahead of the first leg against Unai Emery’s side at Emirates Stadium on April 11.
Napoli booked their place in the last eight, despite a 3-1 second leg defeat against RB Salzburg, progressing 4-3 on aggregate Arkadiusz Milik’s decisive away goal.
Reacting to facing Arsenal, Ancelotti said:
‘[The draw against Arsenal is] a difficult but very fascinating challenge for us, for the club and for our fans.’
Goalkeeper David Ospina, currently on loan from Arsenal, meanwhile, will be eligible to play against his parent club although Ancelotti has selected current No.2 Alex Meret in the last two rounds.
Arsenal overcame a first leg deficit against Rennes on Thursday night, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring twice in a 3-0 win.
The Gunners were also forced to come from behind in the previous round against BATE Borisov and wing-back Sead Kolasinac admits his side cannot afford to play catch up against more established competition.
‘It’s always very difficult when you lose the first game,’ the 25-year-old stated post-match.
‘We are aware of that, it’s not something we want to do of course. It is something we are going to work on in the next round. Of course, the key will be to start better than we have in these last two ties.
‘We didn’t put ourselves in a good position at the end of that first leg. Having said that, I think that away goal was crucial for us.
‘It was difficult for us because we had to play with 10 men for about 50 minutes of that first game as well. We made it difficult, but we knew how strong we are at home and we deservedly went through tonight.’