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Napoli undaunted by Dortmund challenge

Rafael Benítez set a defiant tone for SSC Napoli's Group F campaign, beginning against Borussia Dortmund, with opposite number Jürgen Klopp ready to start afresh.

Rafael Benítez addresses the media
Rafael Benítez addresses the media ©AFP/Getty Images

There was not a hint of trepidation from SSC Napoli coach Rafael Benítez as he rallied his troops for their UEFA Champions League Group F campaign, starting at home to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

The 53-year-old nonetheless sounded a warning about Dortmund's threat on the break, yet vowed to fight fire with fire in Naples: "We want to attack and we want to win." Jürgen Klopp, meanwhile, considers Napoli one of this season's favourites – though of course the 2012/12 runners-up "are not so bad either".

Rafael Benítez, coach
We are up against an in-form team that are very strong in Europe, but we have faith in our ability. It's the players who make the difference. It's a big game against a strong side. They play very quickly on the counterattack and have had the same coach for six years. Klopp is a great coach who has done well. He has a passion for football, which I like.

The rhythm of the game is going to be different from Serie A, but that will depend on us and our fans because they can play a big role. Napoli will play the way we have to play. If we have to attack, we attack; if we have to defend, we defend. We're not going to stick 11 men behind the ball. We want to attack and we want to win.

I know what it means to have this stadium full. I think we're facing the in-form team in Europe. I prefer playing games like this because it gives us an opportunity to show how strong we are. We are not scared of anyone and I don't say that with arrogance. If we are at our best, it will be difficult for anybody to play against us and if they do the same, it will obviously be difficult for us too.

Weekend result
Saturday: Napoli 2-0 Atalanta BC (Higuaín 71, Callejón 81)
Reina; Mesto, Cannavaro, Albiol, Armero; Dzemaili (Radošević 85), Inler; Pandev (Hamšík 66), Mertens (Callejón 59), Insigne; Higuaín.

• Napoli earned their third victory in as many Serie A games this season despite the absence of several key players. Gonzalo Higuaín scored his first goal at the San Paolo Stadium, his second since joining Napoli in the summer. José Callejón, who also arrived from Real Madrid CF, notched his third in as many appearances for the Partenopei when Atalanta were down to ten men.

Team news
The hosts have no fresh injury concerns.

Jürgen Klopp, coach
Last season's competition is over, we don't think about that now, it's a new competition with incredibly strong sides. We've been drawn in a very tough group. We are up against a team who play very, very lively football – not very much different from ours – so it's going to be a very tight game and we want to show we can cope in this atmosphere.

Motivation for us has never been a problem. It's always special to play in the Champions League. Napoli have sold [Edinson] Cavani and did well in the transfer market, signing some good players. I think Napoli are stronger than last year and they are one of the favourites for me this year.

The games we've seen from them so far have been very impressive. We also know we're not so bad either and we've not seen our limits yet – we don't even want to see them – but we have the feeling we have a lot of potential still, though we know it's going to be a difficult group.

We have a great deal of respect – it's not that we are scared, but we know we're going to have a tough job. However, we are in good shape and we are here to get something. It's an atmosphere we've probably never experienced before, I've got to say, but we're looking forward to it.

Weekend result
Saturday: Dortmund 6-2 Hamburger SV (Aubameyang 19 65, Mkhitaryan 22, Lewandowski 73 81, Reus 75; Lam 26, Westermann 49)
Weidenfeller; Grosskreutz, Subotić (Sokratis 61), Hummels, Schmelzer (Durm 80), S Bender, Şahin, Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan (Hofmann 80), Reus, Lewandowski.

• This is the highest-scoring encounter in Bundesliga history and it did not disappoint. BVB had lost twice to HSV last season but while their early 2-0 lead was cancelled out this time, they came on strong to win in style.

• Dortmund have won their opening five Bundesliga games for the first time.

Team news
Captain Sebastian Kehl looks set to miss the opening three matches in Group F after the midfielder suffered an ankle injury in training on Sunday. İlkay Gündoğan and Łukasz Piszczek are also sidelined. Jakub Błaszczykowski is available after being rested at the weekend.

Match fact
• In the first competitive meeting between the teams, Napoli coach Benítez will be hoping to improve on the club's record against German opponents – no wins and five defeats in the last seven fixtures.