Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that the Napoli squad are united ahead of their Europa League quarter-final second leg against Arsenal, and they plan to attack from the beginning.
It’s fair to say Ancelotti’s side didn’t get things right against Arsenal in the first leg. The Gunners dominated the chances, only conceding one or two on the break, and Napoli were wasteful when they did get into those dangerous areas.
As a result, Unai Emery’s side take a 2-0 lead into the second leg, and Napoli have no choice but to try and score as many goals as possible. Any away goal for Arsenal and the hosts would need at least four to avoid elimination. Carlo Ancelotti made it clear to the Italian media that he wasn’t going to hold back offensively.
“The group is united. Arsenal will be attacked immediately,” Ancelotti said (via Gazzetta). “I expect a hot San Paolo, we will try with all our strength.
“At the Emirates, they surprised us with their pressure and despite this, we continued to try to get out. In our stadium, they will be less aggressive and we will have our opportunities, playing very vertically. Who knows if Mertens, Insigne and Milik play together. It may be a valid idea.”
Similar to Arsenal, Napoli have already shown a great contrast in their form away and at home in Europe. In the Champions League group stage, they defeated Red Star Belgrade and Liverpool at the San Paolo, but couldn’t beat either away from home. In the last round of the Europa League, they beat RB Salzburg 3-0 at home but lost 3-1 away.
Arsenal will hope they can change that on this occasion, and win both legs as they did in Italy against AC Milan last season. However, it’s not going to be an easy task, and the main thing is simply to qualify for the semi-finals by any means necessary.