UEFA Europa League


Luciano Spalletti has spoken of his team's desire to progress to the Europa League knockout stages, insisting that Napoli's strength in depth means they are more than capable of making up for any absences.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference in Warsaw ahead of Thursday's match with Legia, the coach said: “I don't see why the team should be any weaker tomorrow. We have a strong enough squad to always be able to put out a very good side.

“We've come here with the idea of winning because we want to advance in the Europa League. I have complete confidence in the team despite any absentees.

“You're always going to pick up a few niggles playing every three days. Some of the players have been rested as a precaution given all the games we've got. I have lots of players who deserve playing time and I'm sure they'll show their worth to the team.

“The substitutes have often proved decisive. With five subs, everyone has a part to play and is a potential starter. You need the whole squad to get a result."

Asked specifically about Juan Jesus's potential involvement, the boss replied: “He could play – we'll see. He's a player who very rarely underperforms, an animal always ready to fight for the cause.

“[Alex] Meret will start in goal. He's our other first-choice goalkeeper on a par with [David] Ospina.

“We have everything we need to win tomorrow. Legia are doing well in their domestic league but we've come here with the sole objective of winning this game.”

The boss also spared a few words for the 500 travelling Azzurri supporters.

“The fans are just as important as the players. They're always there right behind us. I'm sure they'll behave well and show fair play tomorrow.”

(Photo LaPresse)