UEFA Champions League


Carlo Ancelotti held his pre-match press conference in view of the Champions League encounter against Liverpool.

"Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe, but we’ll go for the win, we can cause them problems. We have belief and we’ll need that if we want to play the way we want. Of course, we can’t expect to have total control of the game. We’re up against side that has been consistent over a number of years. They’re very well-organised and are one of the biggest clubs in European football. We’ll need to play with a high tempo and lots of intensity. I have lots of faith in the team – I know what we’re capable of".

Ancelotti admitted the match was a big one for Napoli’s Champions League hopes, but dismissed the idea that it’s win or bust for his side: "It’s an important game, but not decisive. It would be massive for us to get the three points because we weren’t able to get them against Red Star. It’s always nice to play in these games – football is about these exciting matches. We need to be focused but also maintain a level of calm so that we can showcase our qualities. We need to improve the way we handle periods when we’re under pressure. We needed to do that better against Juventus and we hope to improve on that tomorrow".

The Napoli boss stressed the quality of Liverpool as a collective rather than pinpointing individual threats: "Liverpool don’t just have one good player – they’ve got several, especially when it comes to playing on the break. We want to attack and win but we need to be wary of that side of Liverpool. Klopp is a friend. He’s a very experienced coach and his teams have a very clear identity: pace, aggression and intensity".

Ancelotti also revealed he is still making up his mind on the starting eleven for this night: "I have something in mind for the team, but I think I’m going to make a few tweaks still. Regardless of who plays, what remains the same is our strategy and the mentality of trying to impose our game. We need to keep a balance throughout the game".

"I think we have a strong team that’s achieving levels of excellence in terms of its play and mentality. At times we’re not able to maintain our consistency, but I’m confident because with time we can only improve. I’ll look at the fitness of the players in the final training session. Liverpool will play with very high intensity so we’ll need to be ready for that. It’s important that we show bravery and personality, implement what we’ve worked on and be ready to withstand their counter-attacks. If we play the way we know how, we can cause Liverpool problems".

(Photo Getty Images)