Naples - Nice
August 15, 2017
Favre: "We need to focus on ourselves"
The Champions League has a feel about it, including during the pre-match. Faced with several dozen journalists, Lucien Favre gave his views on the 1st leg of the play-off against Napoli, which will take place on Wednesday at 8.45pm.
Coach, are the Gym solid enough to cope with the pressure of the San Paolo?
In any case, by coming into the Champions League through the qualifiers, we knew that we were going to face two good teams. We pulled out Ajax, we got through, now it's another calibre, a huge team.
So what do you make of the opposition?
Of course, we have watched Napoli a lot, with their 4-3-3, their one-touch style, their very compact defensive recovery, their impact... But we need to focus, above all, on our qualities and what can be done well tomorrow. It's going to be an extremely difficult match, they are very quick, are good in 1-on-1s, in the transition, they play quick one-touch football, combine well at high speed... We will need to be ready for this type of thing.
Can we expect to see a change in system?
I don't know yet if we will change the system. It's very possible that we stay with the same configuration, maybe with one more player in the middle.
"All clubs in the world have weak points"
The absences of Mario Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder, what impact will they have?
Unfortunately, they aren't ready. This morning, they both put in good individual and physical training so that we can get them back as soon as possible. We can't rush things because we don't want to risk a recurrence for Mario. Wesley, he is still in pre-season. He hasn't played for two months, was training alone in the Netherlands with a fitness coach, but he needs a bit more in order for him to be ready.
What are Napoli's weaknesses?
There aren't many, but every team has some, no matter what system they use. I am not going to speak specifically about players. If I speak about Insigne, Mertens, Calejon, Hamsik, Zielinski, Jorginho, Ghoulam... Once again, I am focussed on what we are capable of producing tomorrow.
Does qualification for the Champions League and the financial support it provides, add an extra level of pressure to the tie?
Even against Ajax, everybody was happy because it was very difficult against a good side. Whatever happens, the main thing is that we believe in it and that we put in a good performance, as a group and as individuals. The important thing is that Nice will play on the international stage once again this year.