Rafael Benítez vows SSC Napoli will do their utmost to get the win they need against Group F leaders Arsenal FC who are not worried by the hot atmosphere awaiting them.
Article top media content
A regular adversary during his two spells in the English top flight, SSC Napoli coach Rafael Benítez called Arsène Wenger "the best coach in the Premier League" ahead of their UEFA Champions League Group F meeting on Wednesday.
While the Gunners are certain of qualifying with a draw, Napoli will need to win unless Borussia Dortmund lose to Olympique de Marseille. If Dortmund fail to win, Napoli will advance with a victory – in the event of a three-way head-to-head on 12 points, the two qualifiers will be decided by the precise scorelines between the three teams. Benítez, though, has his sights set only on victory, while Wenger would happily take a first or second-place finish.
Rafael Benítez, coach
Arsenal are a quality team who are really quick on the counterattack. We just have to stay balanced against opponents as strong as them. I'm so happy to be in Naples playing in the Champions League. Tomorrow is our last chance to get out of the group, so we will give everything we can. We don't care about OM v Borussia because we just have to try to win against Arsenal. All our supporters are very proud that we are in the Champions League, so they will be very important to us.
Arsenal have the best coach in the Premier League. Wenger will prepare for this game by looking to make the most of his players' qualities, and we have to do the same. They are good in possession, but also on the counterattack – we have to play our own game.
[Saturday's draw] against Udinese left us angry and we will look to recover immediately. We have to try to impose our quality and have confidence in what we do. Of course, we were unlucky to play in a such a competitive group, but we are proud because we can still qualify. The fact we still have this chance going into the last game means we are doing well.
Saturday: Napoli 3-3 Udinese Calcio (Pandev 38 41, Dzemaili 71; Fernández og 45, Fernandes 70, Basta 80)
Rafael; Maggio, Fernández, Albiol, Réveillère (Armero 81); Inler, Dzemaili (Behrami 78); Insigne, Pandev (Mertens 74), Callejón; Higuaín.
• Two Goran Pandev goals in four minutes gave Napoli a 2-0 lead but the Partenopei were pegged back. Though Blerim Dzemaili put them in front with 19 minutes left, they once again surrendered their advantage. Napoli have conceded eight goals in their last three games in all competitions.
Goalkeeper Pepe Reina (thigh) is a doubt after remaining on the bench against Udinese, when Rafael Cabral made his Napoli debut. Marek Hamšík (foot), Camilo Zúñiga (knee) and Giandomenico Mesto (knee) are all sidelined.
Arsène Wenger, manager
The attitude of the players is focused and ambitious. That pleases me very much. We will play our usual game and try to take control of the ball. [Summer transfer target Gonzalo] Higuaín joined Rafa Benítez and has shown he is a great player, but Olivier Giroud has also shown he is a great striker.
Tomorrow is a decider in the Champions League, that is for sure. We played Sunday and we have some players out of shape like [Bacary] Sagna, who is not with us. This is a match we absolutely have to win. The team must stay balanced; we can't change our way of playing.
The most important thing is to progress from the group. Of course we would like to be first in the group, but to qualify is the most important thing. We won't be affected by playing in such a hot atmosphere. We have played in stadiums all over Europe so we are used to the pressure exerted by the home supporters.
Sunday: Arsenal 1-1 Everton FC (Özil 80; Deulofeu 84)
Szczęsny; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Arteta, Wilshere (Rosický 68), Ramsey (Flamini 68), Özil, Cazorla (Walcott 68); Giroud.
• Arsenal opened up a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League despite being held to a 1-1 draw. Mesut Özil turned in Theo Walcott's header across goal but Gerard Deulofeu responded swiftly for the visitors.
Abou Diaby has been out since March with a knee injury; Lukas Podolski (hamstring) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) have been sidelined since August.
• Arsenal's last visit to a Serie A side ended in a 4-0 reverse at AC Milan in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League round of 16. They responded in style in the return, Laurent Koscielny and Tomáš Rosický scoring inside the first 30 minutes, yet the eventual 3-0 win was not enough.