Napoli look to domestic form as Young Boys visit
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
SSC Napoli welcome a BSC Young Boys side who defeated Rafael Benítez's team two weeks ago but it is Rafael Benítez's squad that are in prime domestic form.
Article top media content
Beaten 2-0 at BSC Young Boys on UEFA Europa League matchday three, SSC Napoli have since enjoyed two morale-boosting home wins in Serie A. That form is crucial as Rafael Benítez's team consider a tight Group I.
Napoli followed up their loss in Switzerland with a 6-2 defeat of Hellas Verona FC and a 2-0 victory against AS Roma, Giallorossi coach Rudi Garcia saying Napoli "were clearly the better side". In between they equalised in the 86th minute for a 1-1 draw at Atalanta BC.
Should Napoli avenge their setback in Berne they would steal a march on Young Boys in a section where those two clubs and AC Sparta Praha are level on six points. Lose and they could be three adrift of both of their qualification rivals come the next set of games on 27 November when they travel to Prague. Regardless of the outcome, the important thing, says Benítez, is to retain a sense of perspective.
"Our season has to be characterised by balance – there has to be balance when things are going well, but also when they go wrong too," explained the coach, who guided Chelsea FC to UEFA Europa League glory in 2013. "Getting a victory is not enough to satisfy us. Tomorrow we have a hard game, but if we win we are very close to our target of progressing in the competition."
As for their reverse in the Swiss capital, Benítez said: "In Berne we played well in the first half, while in the second we didn't do well. Young Boys are a good team and we have maximum respect for them. They have a good group and a forward [three-goal Guillaume Hoarau] who helps the side."
While Napoli have hit domestic form, Young Boys have lost their last three Super League matches, the home meeting with Benítez's men being the one occasion where they avoided defeat in October. Still, their win against Napoli means opportunities are opening up in this competition to reach the last 32 for the first time in four years.
"We are pretty confident," said coach Uli Forte. "We are in a good position in the standings and we want to continue to do good things because we are convinced that we can go forward in the UEFA Europa League.
"Some members of the staff, some players and I are natives of this region, Campania, so it's particularly exciting for us to be here. In the league we have recently suffered a defeat against Vaduz and you are right to say that it is a bit strange to beat Napoli and, not so much later, after a few days, to be defeated by them but this is football and a single episode can change a whole match."