UEFA Europa League


Luciano Spalletti was keen to sing the praises of Leicester and his opposite number Brendan Rodgers when he spoke at a media conference on Wednesday ahead of Napoli's Europa League Matchday 1 clash.

“It's going to be intense tomorrow because Leicester play a modern brand of football combining physical and technical ability,” the boss explained.

They have fast players and when they up the pace they can really hurt you. They deserve a lot of credit for the football they play. Rodgers has done an excellent job with them both tactically and physically. He's a scrupulous, solid all-round coach.

"We have to forget about the conviction we've gained from winning our first three league matches because tomorrow is a different sort of game. We have to get our approach right otherwise we're going to run into trouble.

"We have to play with the right mentality and express our quality. It will be a tough match but it will tell us how where we are at the moment.”

Spalletti went on to stress the importance of doing well in the Europa League before discussing the possibility of rotation.

“We want to give a good account of ourselves in every competition. It's motivating and exciting for us to be playing in Europe, and in any case when you play for Napoli every game is important.

“We must be highly focused at all times if we want to build a winning mentality. We're going to play at full intensity and with our full focus in Europe because we want to go a long way.

“The Europa League is a competition we wanted to take part in so now we have to take part actively. Tomorrow is a top-level match.

“We have to make the most of our recovery time and make changes to maintain high energy levels but not too many because it's still the start. We don't need to make wholesale changes.

"[Lorenzo] Insigne trained with the rest of the lads this morning. If he feels good tomorrow, he'll be involved. He could well play.”

(Photo LaPresse)