Wednesday February 21 2018
Hasenhuttl 'can't wait' for Napoli

RB Leipzig will be without Naby Keita and Willi Orban, confirmed Coach Ralph Hasenhuttl, who insists Napoli “didn’t underestimate” them.

The first leg ended 3-1 to the Germans at the Stadio San Paolo and the return is on Thursday at 18.00 GMT.

“Keita and Orban didn’t take part in training today, but Kevin Kampl and Bruma return,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“It’s more complicated replacing Orban, as he is very strong, but we have options and Ibrahima Konate can take his place. Keita can make the difference, as we saw in the first leg. It’s not a serious injury, but we don’t want to run risks.

“The same goes for Emil Forsberg. We want to slowly introduce him back into the side and not rush things.

“We can’t wait to play tomorrow, as Napoli brought their best players to Germany and will try to overturn the first leg result. We must be wary and try to impose our style on the game, not be too calm and comfortable.

“It’s true we have the advantage after the first leg, but everyone knows Napoli’s quality and tomorrow Dries Mertens will play. I don’t want to give a percentage on our chances, but we have to be concentrated.”

Napoli rested most of their stars in the first leg, having made it perfectly clear the Europa League is an inconvenience in the Scudetto race.

“We like playing in the Europa League, as we want to represent Germany well. There are some very strong sides in this tournament. I don’t think Napoli showed little determination in the first leg, especially after the goal. They didn’t underestimate us and they did want to get a good result.

“They might not have had their best performance, but Leipzig were excellent. Don’t forget, Napoli did open the scoring. They are having an extraordinary campaign in Serie A and it’s good for Italian football that after so many years there is another team challenging Juventus.”

Maurizio Sarri’s chain-smoking habit was spotted in Germany and RB Leipzig built a new temporary wall in the locker room to create a separate section, plus turned off the smoke detectors.

“It was important for us to show hospitality,”noted Hasenhuttl. “Even more important will be securing qualification to the next round.”

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