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Napoli’s star striker Gonzalo Higuain has cranked up the pressure on Swansea City by describing Thursday night’s Europa League clash as ‘like a final.’
Garry Monk’s side are expecting a hot reception from the local fans on their arrival in Naples and Higuian’s comments could stoke up the fervour as Swansea bid to progress after a goalless first leg.
Talking to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli, Higuain said: “Swansea have already shown their quality and we will have to maintain our concentration if we’re going to come out victorious.
“For us, Thursday night is a final.”
Higuain scored in Napoli’s disappointing 1-1 Serie A draw against Genoa on Sunday which leaves Rafael Benitez’s side 15 points adrift of reigning champions Juventus in the Scudetto stakes.
The former Real Madrid striker added: “We have to learn our lesson, especially since this isn’t the first time it’s happened.”
Napoli are 1.47 to win Thursday’s second leg in 90 minutes while the draw is available at 4.05. Swansea can be backed at 5.79 but have travelled to Italy without Spanish star Michu and England World Cup hopeful Jonjo Shelvey.
After scoring at his former stomping ground against Liverpool on Sunday, Shelvey picked up a hamstring injury, while Michu is in Spain having treatment on his ankle.
Swansea boss Monk has confirmed he hopes that Michu will train next week.
Full back Ben Davies has returned to the squad for the clash at the San Paolo and Shelvey is expected to return to action against Crystal Palace on Sunday.