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Rafa Benitez: Napoli will play like it's the Champions League

Rafa Benitez: Napoli will play like it's the Champions League

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The Spaniard does not think Swansea will be weakened by its managerial change and thinks the Partenopei are better now than they were at the tail end of 2012.

Napoli boss Rafa Benitez says his side will treat its Europa League clash Swansea on Thursday like a Champions League match.

The Partenopei were eliminated from Europe's elite competition before Christmas as a result of their inferior head-to-head record, with Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal progressing at their expense.

The third-placed finish saw them drop into the Europa League, but the ex-Inter coach - who lifted the trophy with Chelsea last year - says his charges will try hard to grab a goal or two at the Liberty Stadium.

"Swansea are a good team, we have to play with the same character shown in the Champions League," Benitez told reporters. "The message is that we play every game to win, in a game like this - over two legs - it will be important to score away from home.

"We are a more solid and balanced team than last year, thanks to our efforts and signings in January."

Benitez thinks Swansea's recent alteration - Michael Laudrup was sacked and Garry Monk placed in temporary charge - will not weaken it and revealed striker Gonzalo Higuain and defender Raul Albiol are doubts to play in midweek.

"Swansea have changed coaches, but a Premier League club is never an easy challenge," the Spaniard added.  "We have to evaluate in training whether Higuain will be fit, while Albiol is not 100 percent."

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