FRANKFURT – Serie A leaders Napoli will be aggressive and counter-press with “incredible intensity” in their Champions League last-16 first leg encounter with Eintracht Frankfurt, coach Oliver Glasner said on Monday.
Napoli won five out of their six Champions League group stage games to finish as group winners ahead of Liverpool.
They are 15 points clear at the top of Serie A, and have won seven successive league games, scoring at least two goals in each of those victories.
“Our aim is clear: to advance. Both clubs have good, stable sides,” Glasner told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s clash at the Waldstadion.
“Napoli don’t play like an Italian team. They play with the most intensity by some distance, they’re aggressive without the ball and counter-press with incredible intensity. We’re aware of that and we’ve prepared for it.
“There’s more to Napoli than just their attack. They have an incredible balance and don’t concede many goals. They had an exceptional group stage.”
Glasner added that captain Sebastian Rode, who missed Frankfurt’s 2-0 league win over Werder Bremen due to illness, trained on his own on Monday and “will be in the squad, provided nothing else happens. He won’t start, though.”
Frankfurt midfielder Mario Goetze, who was part of the Borussia Dortmund side that reached the 2013 Champions League final, said he was expecting a “tremendous atmosphere” at the game.
“It’s going to be a sensational game,” Goetze told reporters.
“We learnt a lot during the group phase as a team and earned these two games. We know how difficult it’s going to be at this level. Experience is important, but ultimately it’s our performance that counts.”
Frankfurt are sixth in the Bundesliga standings on 38 points, five behind leaders Bayern Munich. REUTERS