PREVIEW: Swans v Napoli
20th February 2014
Swansea City return to Europa League action on Thursday when they face Napoli at the Liberty Stadium (8.05pm).
The Swans welcome Rafa Benitez's men to South Wales in the first leg of their last 32 clash, with the second leg due to take place in Italy next week.
Napoli broke an unwanted record when they were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League group stages back in December, becoming the first team to be eliminated after amassing 12 points.
As a result, they were placed into the Europa League alongside the likes of Juventus, Porto and Ajax.
The Swans will be hoping to recapture some of their earlier form, which saw them pick up wins over St Gallen, Valencia, Petrolul Ploiesti and Malmo.
The winners of the tie will advance to play FC Porto or Eintracht Frankfurt in the round of 16.
WHAT THEY SAID
Swans head coach Garry Monk: "They are one of the best teams in Europe. I have watched their matches and they have very good players all the way from the goalkeeper to the attackers.
"They are a very powerful team in European football. We will be going up against a very good side, but we believe in ourselves to get a good result.
"Rafa Benitez is a hugely successful manager who has won some of the biggest trophies in the game.
Napoli manager Rafa Benitez: "It is going to be difficult to win this game - to play a team from the Premier League is a challenge for us.
"I know Swansea and they are organised, play with a high tempo and passing game with quality players.
"We know how they play, but it is all about the players on the pitch.
Swansea finished second in Group A with eight points, despite not winning any of their last four games.
The highlight of their group campaign was undoubtedly the 3-0 away win against Valencia, where goals from Wilfried Bony, Michu and Jonathan De Guzman secured the win.
Napoli were eliminated from the Champions League despite picking up wins against Arsenal and Dortmund, and their top scorer in the competition so far is Gonzalo Higuain with four - the same amount as Wilfried Bony and Michu for Swansea.
Napoli did not draw a single game during their Champions League campaign, but also kept only one clean sheet.
Manager Rafa Benitez will be no stranger to Swansea fans after his Chelsea team was knocked out of the League Cup semi-final by the Swans last year.
Benitez won the Champions League in 2005 with Liverpool, the 2004 UEFA Cup with Valencia and last season's Europa League with Chelsea.
Swansea's Pablo Hernandez and Napoli's Raul Albiol were once teammates at Valencia. Chico Flores also had a spell playing in Italy, appearing 15 times for Genoa between 2010 to 2012.