Benitez expects tough Napoli outing

Rafael Benitez is braced for a tough challenge when his Napoli side bid to get back to winning ways at Torino on Monday night.

Rafael Benitez

The Partenopei suffered their first defeat in nine matches when they were beaten 1-0 by Portuguese side Porto in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday and now their attention turns back towards Serie A.

They will be feeling confident of building on their win over Roma last week, which helped Napoli close the gap on the second-place capital club to three points, and Benitez, while not taking the threat of Torino lightly, believes his side are more than a match for any team in the league when they are firing on all cylinders

"We know it will be a complicated match, we know the quality of our opponent," Benitez said in an interview with Radio Kiss Kiss.

"Torino dribble well, have good organisation, have excellent players, but I also have to say that when we are focused one hundred per cent, we have shown that we can compete with all the teams."

Third-placed Napoli are well adrift of leaders Juventus, yet Benitez is adamant he can lead the club to the type of success he had with Valencia and Liverpool, with whom he won major honours. However, he insists he cannot transform their fortunes overnight.

"It's simple we just need more time. I had been with Liverpool for six years and at the beginning it wasn't easy at all," the Spaniard added.

"The coach and his players have to know each other deeply and train together day after day. The project began this year, the squad is strong and we will be even stronger working together."

Torino will be looking to end a woeful run of form that has seen them lose their last three matches without scoring a goal and they may have wished for an easier side to face than high-flying Napoli on Monday evening.

Despite the slump in form, Torino are just three points away from equalling their total from last season, which was their first term back in the top flight, and defender Emiliano Moretti is keen to play up that significance.

He told the club's official website: "Compared with last season we have made great strides, but it is obvious that when you face top teams it is important to cover every inch of the field.

"Like every game we will push to reach our goal."

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