Villarreal vs Napoli preview - Rodriguez warning for Napoli

I have a say

Posted Wednesday, December 07, 2011 by PA

Villarreal captain Gonzalo Rodriguez has warned Napoli they will not be given an easy ride at El Madrigal stadium.

The Spaniards are bottom of Champions League Group A and cannot even qualify for the consolation prize of the Europa League after failing to win a point in the competition so far.

Napoli have fared much better and go into the final group match in second place, a point ahead of Manchester City who face a daunting task at home to group leaders Bayern Munich.

A win for Napoli would make absolutely certain of a place in the knockout stages for the first time, but Rodriguez is adamant Villarreal will fight all the way.

He said: "This is a Champions League game and many players dream all their lives of playing these type of matches.

"Even though it means nothing for us, it's still an important game. We want to win this game, win at home in order to open a new positive chapter for us.

"We are not thinking of Manchester City or Napoli, we simply want to prove in front of our fans that we can do well."

Villarreal go into the encounter on the back of last weekend's 1-0 defeat at strugglers Racing Santander.

The result was Villarreal's sixth loss in 14 Primera Liga games and dropped Juan Carlos Garrido's side to 15th in the standings.

But Napoli will not take Villarreal lightly, for good reason.

Walter Mazzarri's men lost 2-1 against the Yellow Submarine in Spain last season to crash out of the Europa League.

And forward Goran Pandev is aware of the importance of tomorrow's match.

"This is the game of our lives," he said. "Wednesday's game is the most important of our campaign.

"It's going to be a very difficult match but we want to get a prestigious result so as to give our fans some joy.

"We have won difficult games in the Champions League and now we will try to qualify for the last 16, which would be a historic achievement for Napoli."

Napoli, who beat Manchester City 2-1 at home last month, travel to Spain in buoyant mood. Last weekend's 4-2 triumph over Lecce lifted the Azzurri to fifth in Serie A.

Edinson Cavani, who struck twice against Lecce, is expected to lead Napoli's attack alongside Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik.

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