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The 50-year-old has admitted he will rotate his squad but insists the Partenopei will not be taking their Swedish opponents lightly, while giving his backing to striker Vargas

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri has urged his players not to underestimate Europa League opponents AIK, ahead of their clash on Thursday night.

The Partenopei will make their second appearance in the competition in its modern format, after making their debut in the 2010/11 season. Last year they reached the Champions League but were beaten by eventual winners Chelsea.

A tough fixture list sees Napoli face Catania, Lazio and Sampdoria, as well as Udinese and PSV Eindhoven, over the course of the next few weeks and with those tests in mind, Mazzarri admits he will look to rotate his squad - but not out of complacency.

“I am facing this competition with the usual fire and nothing has changed for me,” he told reporters at a press conference.

“We must respect AIK, as I saw the footage of their games. A legend of Swedish football like Kurt Hamrin agrees that they are not to be underestimated.

"We have a squad with certain players who balance each other out, so that’s not a problem. I am forced to make tough decisions because the fixture list is not kind to us."

One player who will feature is striker Eduardo Vargas, who will partner Lorenzo Insigne in attack, despite a less than fruitful stay at the club since joining from Universidad de Chile in January.

“Vargas? I judge players by their performances and not just their goals. In any case, I hope tomorrow he can find the breakthrough," he added.

Mazzarri will watch the game from the stands as a result of a touchline ban, leaving assistant Mario Frustalupi in charge.

 

 

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