Carlo Ancelotti believes Napoli will face “the best team in Europe” tomorrow but warns Liverpool that his side are better than they were last season.
Napoli beat Liverpool 1-0 in the same fixture last season, but the Reds went on to knock them out of the Champions League group stage and win the trophy.
“Liverpool have grown because last season gave them so much awareness,” Ancelotti said at a Press conference.
“On the other hand, we’ve also grown because we’ve added more quality to their squad.
“It’ll be a hard-fought match as we’ll be facing the best team in Europe. We hope to get the same result as last season.
“As for formation, we mustn’t distort our identity and idea. We must take inspiration from the good things we’ve done and the problems we’ve been faced with.
“We defended very well against them last season, and the defensive aspect is very important in games like these.
“I expect a team capable of defending when necessary, attacking when the opportunity arises and keeping the ball when needed. We’ll need the perfect game.”
The Coach was then asked about new signing Hirving Lozano and playing the Champions League holders, given his history with them.
“Lozano’s a humble and intelligent lad. I have no doubt that he’ll do well. Liverpool have grown in terms of confidence and belief.
“When you win, you become more familiar with your movements on the pitch. You play more by heart.
“They’re among the favourites for the Premier League title because they’re an excellent team.
“There are two types of Coaches - those who don’t have an impact on their teams and those who destroy teams. I hope to belong to the second category.
“My biggest disappointments and my greatest joys are linked to Liverpool. I lost two Finals against them, one as a player with Roma and one as a Coach with Milan, and I won one.
“They’re a team who I feel affection for. Playing at Anfield is always a unique feeling for the environment that it creates.
“We want to be leading lights in the Champions League, but your progress is influenced by so many factors.”
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“They’re certainly among the best because of their experience, quality and character.
“As for the atmosphere at San Paolo, it has a big effect, like Anfield does. The atmosphere was very positive against Sampdoria.
“Liverpool play differently away from home, but now they’re much more solid and careful on the road.
“We must respect what the pitch says, and right now Inter have started the season very well.
“Juve took a small misstep and the apocalypse seems to have broken out. It can happen.
“Napoli can be as competitive as any Italian side in the Champions League. Having four Italian teams in the second round is very important.
“Being favourites doesn’t change your approach because it’s only theoretically speaking that we are favourites.
“Naples isn’t dangerous. It’s a city where you can enjoy the sea, food and beautiful people, although obviously there are ignorant and stupid people here, like in the rest of the world.”
Finally, the 60-year-old reserved praise for Fernando Llorente, who joined Lozano in making the move to the San Paolo over the summer.
“It doesn’t change if we face them in the first, second or third game. Llorente is here because we believe he can be useful.
“He’s a great striker. He’s so tall, he’s very complete and he doesn’t just play with his head.”
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