Christian Maggio Confident Napoli Can Beat Swansea City

Stu Forster

According to Christian Maggio, Napoli expected Swansea to play the way they did on Thursday, and are confident they can beat the Welsh team in the second leg at the San Paolo.

Despite the general disappointment of only being able to draw against a lesser team, there's cause for optimism heading in to the second leg. Despite a depleted back line and lacking a key midfielder, Rafa Benitez's squad was able to let Swansea City play the way they wanted to and still kept them from scoring. With the advantage of the San Paolo at their backs, it's easy to see Napoli getting the win next week.

According to veteran right back Christian Maggio, the squad is confident they can do exactly that. In fact, in his post-match interview he made it sound like Napoli expected the match to play out much as it did:

"We expected Swansea to be this aggressive, as they play with the ball to feet. That’s how the first leg went and for the second game we’ll have the support of the crowd behind us."

-Source: Football Italia

Given the importance of the away leg of a knockout tie like this, it's easy to see why Napoli would take a more pragmatic approach to the match. It was clear by the end of the first half that they would take a goal if it were presented to them, but that priorities one, two, and three were to not concede. Maggio's interview confirmed that theory pretty explicitly:

"In situations like this you need to stay calm and help each other out. The important thing is that we avoided defeat, so we should treasure this draw."

It's a sensible approach under the circumstances, and it's hard to say that it didn't pay off. A 0-0 draw heading in to the San Paolo should be relatively straightforward to overturn, especially given Swansea's poor away form both in the league and in Europe. With the energy of the crowd, a better back line to rely on, and more freedom to get forward, Thursday could be a lot of fun for the partenopei faithful.

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