Friday December 6 2013
Benitez: 'Napoli, ignore Arsenal'

Rafa Benitez wants Napoli to “focus only on Udinese” ahead of their Champions League showdown with Arsenal.

The Partenopei host the Friulani on Saturday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“Tomorrow is going to be a very important game, the kind we cannot get wrong,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“The next few games before the Christmas break can be decisive for the table. We could get closer to the top or, if we slip up, drop out of the Champions League zone.

“The encounter with Udinese will be the most important match so far, because it is very difficult and I’ll have to do well to motivate the lads. It’s different with Arsenal, as it is easier to fire them up for that. Our minds must focus only on Udinese.

“They start with a 3-5-2 system, but during the game often mutate to a 4-5-1. I like the Friulani, but in Italy there are some teams who say they have many attacking players, yet in reality they defend with five, at times six or seven...”

Napoli had lost three on the bounce in all competition before breaking that trend with a 4-2 victory away to Lazio.

“No Coach is 100 per cent satisfied with his team, as everyone wants to do better. In January someone could arrive, but this side is already highly competitive to do well in Serie A.

“Antony Reveillere has been training with us for three weeks, so he can play and the decision is just down to me. Goran Pandev is a very intelligent player, as he knows where the ball will go and gets into the right position.

“I have to rotate the wingers more than anyone else, as they work very hard for the team, so resting them is the best solution for everyone to give their best.

“I’ve seen character and mentality from the team, but we can always improve when defending and attacking. We have conceded some banal goals, but with time we’ll assimilate the right movements. It’s no coincidence I said we are only at 75 per cent of our potential.”

Marek Hamsik has still not resumed training with the team due to a metatarsal problem and Benitez confessed he “will not risk” the Slovak international.

Miguel Angel Britos sits out a ban with the injured Juan Camilo Zuniga and Giandomenico Mesto.

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