Friday saw the UEFA Champions League draw take place, with Napoli set to face AC Milan in their quarter-final fixture. Coach Luciano Spalletti explained looked ahead at what his team can expect from their compatriots. “I’d have preferred for us to face a non-Italian side. Milan have a great deal of experience and an impressive record.

“We beat Eintracht Frankfurt despite many potential pitfalls because when everyone says you are the favourites to get through, it adds significant psychological pressure.

“We were so happy because we achieved a historic milestone. That feeling will last until the next round and this city deserves more and more happiness.”

When it comes to who are the favourites, Spalletti emphasised the Rossoneri’s history in the competition. “Firstly, I’d have preferred not to face an Italian side. Only fools would say this a favourable draw. Only Real Madrid have won more trophies in this competition than Milan, and their Technical Area Director Paolo Maldini has himself won five of them. Milan’s record speaks for itself.

“Everyone knows that having experience on the international stage is crucial. In this regard, Milan are the favourites. They also knocked out a great team in Tottenham.

“I’ve been hearing people say that we are in the easier half of the draw. But who says it’s easy? You need to make sensible assessments. Words don’t get results.

“Milan are constantly improving. They’ve got past a blip in their season and have got themselves sorted. We are expecting three close matches against them. The best and most in-form side will emerge victorious. Milan are huge opponents.”

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