Thursday 8 December 2016

Napoli prepared to play patient game

Published 07/05/2015 | 02:30

Napoli captain Marek Hamsik is refusing to underestimate Dnipro
Napoli captain Marek Hamsik is refusing to underestimate Dnipro

Napoli captain Marek Hamsik has warned his team-mates not to underestimate Dnipro when they host the Ukrainian giants in tonight's Europa League semi-final first-leg clash.

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Dnipro have beaten Olympiacos, Ajax and Club Brugge to reach their first-ever European semi-final.

"Perhaps Dnipro are not as famous as Sevilla and Fiorentina, but they remain a very good side," Hamsik said. "They have eliminated big clubs to reach the last four of the competition.

"We are talking about a team that has shown balance and is in good form. They have lost just twice in 2015, against Shakhtar Donetsk and Ajax.

"They have an excellent defensive line that has conceded just two goals in their last 10 games.

"We will need to be patient and play our game.

Dnipro warmed up for the encounter in Naples with a 3-0 triumph at Odessa on Sunday that lifted them to second place in the Ukrainian Premier League, six points adrift of league leaders Dynamo Kiev.

They will, however, have to step up their game if they are to surprise Napoli at the San Paolo stadium.

Dnipro lost 4-2 at Napoli in the Europa League group stages back in the 2012-13 campaign and the Italians are unbeaten in 12 European home games.

"We know it's going to be very difficult," Dnipro striker Nikola Kalinic said. "Napoli are very strong. "But we want to make history and win the Europa League."

Irish Independent

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