Unai Emery says he has a lot of respect for Napoli and Carlo Ancelotti, but says his team are not short of confidence ahead of tomorrow night’s Europa League clash at the Emirates.

The last time the two sides met in Europe was in the Champions League in 2013 when the Gunners ran out 2-0 winners with goals from Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud.

They are, by some distance, the best team we’ve faced so far in this season’s competition, and the Spaniard acknowledged that in the build-up to the game.

Asked what he felt the chances of qualification were, he replied, “I think 50/50. Napoli has a big history like us.

“Now they are second in the table after Juventus and making a big difference with other important teams. They are playing very well.

“They have come from the Champions League but from a strong group with Liverpool. They were very competitive in this group. I know it’s going to be very difficult for us but we have confidence.

“We know we need to be very consistent in two matches, with big preparation and with respect to them. Also, we want to trust and believe in ourselves.

“We want to work hard, prepare hard and play hard.”

This is a fixture that wouldn’t be out of place in the Champions League, indeed the Serie A outfit began this season in that competition but were bumped down into the secondary competition after a disappointing group stage.

“This match is a big level, a big-level match, and the level we want to play. It’s a very big test for us in this competition.

“We want to play the best teams and Napoli now is one of the best teams, with the best players and also a very experienced coach.”

There’s no place like Rome: Arsenal versus Italy

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2003-04
2003-04

Hot stuff coming through.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

EVERYBODY DANCE NOW

hustle6
hustle6

after these 2 comments might as well just suspend anymore comments. All that needs to be said has been said and sirs, you have spoken well.

Badaab
Badaab

These two comments make me feel like having a smoke.

Flern
Flern

Stand still, there’s a spark in your hair

Gana
Gana

Need to win by at least a 2 goal margin keeping in mind how poor we are away from home.
Tomorrow already feels like a make or break second leg since I know we’ll screw up in Naples.

Goonereality
Goonereality

I agree with you about the two goal cushion. Napoli are a competent team with fanatical support (I saw them at home a while ago) and we had better do the business at The Emirates because we’ll be under the hammer at the San Paolo and, as we know, we just can’t defend away – EPL or Europa League.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

ZZZZZZZZZZAP!

Santori
Santori

Will be a real test.

We tend to be our own worst enemy. Should have had no issue against Everton.

But we’ve seen it before against BHA, Soton, West Ham even Liverpool despite their season heroics.

Which Arsenal turns up is the reason why we have fallen away this season (as with most of the chasing pack) Consistency is key. We have shown ability to challenge all (except maybe the top two in the league, even so I think we can have the measure on Liverpool)

BUT we have let the ball drop with lesser lights.

Napoli are tricky customers but if we apply ourselves sufficiently, we can win this and we will need to rack up the goals (avoid the away goal giveaway) to ensure a less stressful time in the away leg.

Thus far this europa campaign, we have frozen in the headlights first legs. We can’t afford to do this with Napoli.

We need to be spot on. Mentally.

Xzibit
Xzibit

Just win.

Wojer
Wojer

Big!

Serpent
Serpent

Extra cred for using Roscoe! 👷‍♂️

jon

They’re not as good as Barca, and Arsenal is better than ManU. Still, it’s a tough one. Without a win at home, forget it.

Lula
Lula

In two years out of the Champions League we have had two Champions League level games. We did alright against Atletico but frankly made stupid mistakes that put them through.

The test this time is to not make these stupid mistakes while going toe-to-toe with them. I realize we were a bag of garbage against Everton. But we should have these. We need to be patient, mentally resilient and tenacious.

I’d have preferred the away leg first because with fixture congestion the players may put pressure on themselves to make sure they kill off the game in the first leg given that it is at home. Emery needs to be clear in the gameplan. The thing we cannot do is lose mental resilience because we’re worried about not scoring. I think this is a deceptively tricky leg. But the key here is that if mentally we are going to be at 80% then we can’t let them score.

Unfortunately its one of those situations that calls for all the strengths that frankly we’re lacking. Clinical defending with Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Xhaka if he plays and most particularly Mustafi, is asking for a miracle. If Napoli score we will need too many goals to keep our defense tight throughout the game.

Lots of potential areas for us to slip up on. I hope we smash them, but we need to go into this game with a level of resilience that we had against United and Spurs. I’m not going to lie, I’m coming into this game with a degree of trepidation.