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Rafa: Swansea a tough test

Rafa Benitez has admitted that Napoli face a difficult challenge to overcome Swansea City in their Europa League tie.

Last Updated: 17/12/13 at 12:10 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Braced for a hard tie against Swansea in the Europa League

Rafa Benitez: Braced for a hard tie against Swansea in the Europa League

Napoli will join the Europa League at the last-32 stage after narrowly missing out on a place in the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League, finishing third in their group behind Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal despite all three teams collecting 12 points.

They have been drawn to face Swansea and Benitez has a lot of respect for Michael Laudrup's Capital One Cup winners.

"In the last few years Swansea made a lot of progress," Benitez told UEFA's official website.

"They are a team who are growing and who play good football. Their coach Laudrup loves ball possession and he's able to let the team show a sparkling game, having in their group also players of quality like Michu, who is very talented."

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis believes Benitez's experience in English football will stand his side in good stead, although he is also wary of Swansea.

"Swansea are a tough team, but we can qualify and we must win," said De Laurentiis.

"Our coach knows the Premier League very well and this could be an advantage for us."

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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