Rafa Benitez respects Athletic Bilbao, but “I trust my Napoli” in the Champions League play-offs.
The first leg is at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday night and ticket sales are through the roof.
“We are facing a great team and the second leg will be in an incredible stadium, as the crowd is like their 12th man,” Benitez told Spanish paper Marca.
“It is a united side with players who have been together for many years and have the support of a city that never loses its passion.
“I respect Athletic Bilbao a great deal, but I trust my Napoli. We have players who came in late from World Cup duty, like Gonzalo Higuain, but there are positive signs.
“My team arrives ready for this tie. Our spirit is the right one and we too can count on great passion.”
Athletic Bilbao named their squad for the trip to Naples and must rebuild without Ander Herrera, who joined Manchester United.
“He is a great player and his absence will surely be felt, but the strength of the team remains in its unity,” added Benitez.