Carlo Ancelotti: Napoli will be brilliant against Arsenal in Europa League


Carlo Ancelotti expects his Napoli side to be brilliant against Arsenal on Thursday as the Italians look to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

The former Chelsea manager admitted Napoli were not good enough at the Emirates Stadium, but hoped the home support would spur them on.

Ancelotti outlined the three qualities his side would need to turn the tie around, predicting a high-intensity contest.

“I’m sure we’re going to put in a brilliant performance tomorrow,” the 59-year-old said. “Will it be enough? I think so, I think we can do it.

“What do we need in three words? Courage, intelligence, heart. I didn’t see much courage in the first leg, especially in the first half.

“Intelligence – if I take as a reference the away match, we were clever in the second half of the game, but we have to do what we have to do.

“Heart and passion is what we need tomorrow, along with intensity because it’s an opportunity we have to take. I think it will be a game of great intensity.”

Arsenal have been in magnificent form at home, winning their last 10 in the Premier League since a 1-1 draw with Wolves in November, but have struggled on the road.

The Gunners had picked up just four points from a possible 15 away from home in the league in 2019 before a 1-0 win at Watford on Monday night.

Ancelotti said he was aware of Arsenal’s away poor record, but did not think it would affect Thursday’s game, saying the San Paolo Stadium fans would tip the balance in Napoli’s favour.

“We know Arsenal’s results in away games, but tomorrow is a different story,” said Ancelotti. “I don’t know what’s going on.

“For sure we are going to do our best to try to change our style of play compared to the away game.

“We’ll try to do better. Of course the result was not so good for us, but we still have a possibility and we will use all our energy to try to reach the semi-final.

“We will get a lot of help from the crowd, which I believe will be amazing.

“The atmosphere will be different, of course. As Arsenal’s supporters helped in the away game, I think our support can help us tomorrow.”

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