Napoli v AIK Solna preview

Team news ahead of Thursday night's Europa League Group F clash between Napoli and AIK Solna at the Stadio San Paolo (kick-off 6pm).

Last Updated: 19/09/12 at 16:35

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Walter Mazzarri is wary of the threat posed by "the Juventus of Sweden" as Napoli prepare to make their Europa League debut against AIK Solna.

The Partenopei have made a convincing start to a domestic title challenge, winning their first three Serie A games to tie defending champions Juventus at the top of the fledgling league.

Napoli may be bracing themselves for tough forthcoming encounters against Catania and Lazio but Mazzarri expects the Swedish club to provide just as thorough an examination of their abilities.

He told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "This team is considered the Juventus of Sweden, I've watched them, they are getting great results in their league.

"To get here they beat CSKA Moscow away from home.

"They have very quick players, play a fast technical game and look good out on the pitch. I'll be showing a video to the boys.

"I expect the fans to help us out because there will be a lot of young players on the pitch. We must support them."

Mazzarri guided the Campanian club to the final 16 of the Champions League last season, exiting only at the hands of eventual winners Chelsea, but the former Sampdoria manager is just as eager to test his skills in Europe's second string competition.

He added: "We start the Europa League with great enthusiasm.

"We will try to progress from the group, but then it becomes just as tough as the Champions League because bigger teams arrive and the quality rises exponentially."

Lorenzo Insigne and Edu Vargas will partner in attack as Edinson Cavani is afforded a rest, while Mazzarri decides whether to field Blerim Dzemaili or Omar El Kaddouri as playmaker.

Defenders Salvatore Aronica and Miguel Britos are sidelined, allowing Federico Fernandez, Paolo Cannavaro and Alessandro Gamberini to form a back three.

AIK are playing in the group stage of this competition for the first time, but played in the Champions League group stage under Stuart Baxter in 1999/2000, picking up a single point against Fiorentina.

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Europa League Fixtures

Thursday, 19 February 2015
18:00
Aalborg v Club Brugge  
Young Boys v Everton  
Dnipro v Olympiakos  
PSV v Zenit  
Roma v Feyenoord  
Torino v Ath Bilbao  
Trabzonspor v Napoli  
Wolfsburg v Sporting  
20:05
Ajax v Leg Warsaw  
Anderlecht v D Moscow  

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