Chelsea are aiming to make history on Monday night as they return to Europe’s elite competition, as they take on Napoli in a one-off Europa League tie.
They will also face off against reigning European champions Barcelona, who are on the brink of qualification for next season’s Champions League.
But the Blues, who beat Bayern Munich 2-1 on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions league, are also in pole position for a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Napoli have beaten Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Juventus in all competitions this season and are unbeaten in all domestic competitions in 2017.
And the Italians have not lost in the group stage since September 2014.
It will be a big test for the Blues as they look to avoid a repeat of their defeat to Manchester United last season in which they lost 1-0 at Anfield.
The Blues, however, have been unbeaten in their last three European Champions League games, with Napoli winning two of them and drawing the other.
“We are ready to show our best in this competition,” said Chelsea coach Antonio Conte.
“We know what the Europa league is about and we have seen it at the last two seasons.
“Our aim is to do everything we can to get to the final.””
Napoli’s players are not yet used to facing Chelsea in a Champions League match, but are confident of a good performance against the Blues.””
Our aim is to do everything we can to get to the final.”
Napoli’s players are not yet used to facing Chelsea in a Champions League match, but are confident of a good performance against the Blues.
“I think they will be prepared, especially the players, because they have won a lot of matches against us,” said goalkeeper Antonio Nocerino.
“They have been good in the last games, winning at home and playing in front.”
In the past few weeks we have had some bad games against them, but we have shown that we can play well and we will do our best to make it a good game.
“Napoleonic champions Juventus, who have won three of their last four games, face an uphill battle to reach their first Europa League final since 1996.