Rafa Benitez has responded to compliments from Arsene Wenger by stating that the Arsenal boss is the best manager in the Premier League.
Benitez's Napoli meets Wenger's Arsenal in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday, in a clash that pits two of Europe's most in-form sides against one another. And in responding to the Wenger's assertion that he has not been given due credit for the job he did at Chelsea last season, Benitez replied: "Arsene Wenger is the best manager in the Premier League.
Napoli defeated defending Champions League runner-up Borussia Dortmund in Italy in their opener, but Benitez knows that facing an in-form Arsenal side in London will present a different challenge.
"Against Dortmund we attacked from the first minute, but tomorrow we will have to contain the euphoria because we face a very strong team at the top of the Premier League," Benitez said. "We have to show our character and our strength, having respect for the opponent, but without fear."
Former Real Madrid duo Gonzalo Higuain and Raul Albiol are both fitness doubts for the visit to the Emirates Stadium, and Benitez admits he will have to monitor both until the last minute.
"We have to see how they train in order to understand how they are and see if they are available," Benitez said. "I still do not know who will play."
Benitez is also determined to keep his feet on the ground, despite Napoli's blistering start to the season which has seen the club win five of its six Serie A games.
"We look from game to game," Benitez said. "We have a good number of players, if we avoid injuries we can do well in all competitions."