Hamsik serving up Euro treat
Napoli playmaker looking forward to Chelsea test
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: February 20, 2012 6:10pm
Marek Hamsik says Napoli's UEFA Champions League meeting with Chelsea on Tuesday will offer up a European 'treat' to the club's supporters.
The Slovakia international also claims that a home date with the Blues will present Napoli with their biggest challenge of the season so far.
The Serie A outfit have already helped to dump Manchester City out of this season's Champions League, but are aware that Chelsea are another Premier League heavyweight that demand the utmost respect.
Hamsik is looking forward to the challenge, though, with it his opinion that 'crisis' talk surrounding Napoli's midweek visitors is wide of the mark.
He told Corriere dello Sport: "It will be a great game. It's the match of the season for us. The return of the Coppa Italia semi-final against Siena is obviously important as well, but the Champions League is fascinating.
"It will be a real treat for our fantastic fans, and for the team itself."
He added: "Chelsea in a crisis? That's just something that the newspapers write. They have won only one of their last six games, though.
"It could be a favourable situation, but we have to be careful. Chelsea are a big team with some great players. We want a good result and will do our utmost to achieve just that."
Hamsik has stopped short of offering any pre-match predictions, and his fellow playmaker Ezequiel Lavezzi is also wary of becoming caught up in the hype which suggests Napoli will enter the game as strong favourites to secure a first-leg lead.
"We know it is an important game so we must remain calm and try to play positively," he said.
"I don't think that we are favourites. This is a huge game and we have no margin for error.
"Can I score my first Champions League goal? I hope so. I always do my best to help the team and I hope it will happen."