Eintracht Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner said on Monday his side is “hot like chip fat” for this week’s Champions League last 16 first leg with Serie A leaders Napoli.
In its first Champions League campaign, the Europa League holder made it through a group featuring Tottenham, Marseille and Sporting Lisbon.
“The team are hot like chip fat. The players have goosebumps,” Glasner told reporters before Tuesday’s game in Germany.
“We want to advance and we will play to win. I’m going in with great anticipation, confidence and self-assurance.”
Glasner said his side was well prepared for its opponent, whose style of football had taken it 15 points clear at the top of Serie A, with just two draws and one loss in the league all season.
“Napoli play un-Italian (football),” referencing Serie A’s historical focus on defence. “They have by far the highest intensity, play very aggressively against the ball, with high pressing and incredibly intensive counter-pressing. We know that and have prepared for it.”
Glasner, however, warned that “Napoli are not just about attack.”
“They are exceptionally well balanced and concede few goals,” he added.
Glasner took Frankfurt to the Europa League title in his first season at the club, which saw his team qualify for its first ever Champions League campaign.
Frankfurt midfielder Mario Goetze, who made a Champions League run in 2013 with former side Borussia Dortmund but missed the final loss to Bayern Munich through injury, expected a “gigantic atmosphere” from the home fans.
“We learned a lot in the group stages and we earned our right to play in these two games (home and away against Napoli).”
Goetze also backed France striker Randal Kolo Muani, who has scored 15 goals and made 14 assists since arriving from Ligue 1 side Nantes in the summer, to play a pivotal role.
“He’s a sensational guy with a sensational character which is shown by the way he’s settled in and the quality he’s brought with him in the short amount of time he’s been in Frankfurt and in Germany.”
“He shows that not only each weekend but also at training. He’s good for the team and improves individual players. He brings sensational quality that we profit from.”
Goetze praised Kolo Muani’s ability to rebound from the disappointment of losing the World Cup final in Qatar, the striker had a last-second chance to win the game saved by Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez.
“To be able to keep performing and keep delivering after everything that he’s gone through and taken with him from the past few months, also with the national team at the World Cup, speaks for him and his character.”
Glasner said captain Sebastian Rode would return to the squad for the game after missing Saturday’s 2-0 win over Werder Bremen with flu, but he “wouldn’t play from the start”.
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