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Swansea boss Laudrup excited about Napoli meeting

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup admitted his excitement at drawing Napoli in the Europa League Round of 32.

The Swans, in their first-ever European campaign, will take on the Serie A side in the initial knockout stage of Europe's second tier club competition following Monday's draw held in Nyon, Switzerland.

Swansea finished second in Group A to move through to the next phase while Rafael Benitez's Napoli dropped down after finishing third in Group F of the Champions League but Laudrup was not shying away from what will be a difficult contest.

"It is probably the hardest tie we could have had," Laudrup said.

"I said before the draw that I felt Napoli and Juventus were the best teams in the competition, but I also said that my players and our fans deserved a big club.

"The squad has already played 27 games so far this season, which has not been easy, while the fans have given fantastic support throughout.

"Over 1,000 fans travelled to St Gallen last week which is amazing and says everything about the supporters at this club.

"Napoli is certainly a big club; with a very good team and a top manager. They won all their home games in the Champions League and for a club to fail to qualify after picking up 12 points is unheard of.

"It is certainly a tie for everyone to look forward to. It will be a great experience for the team, the club, the fans and the city."

Laudrup's Swans will host the first leg at the Liberty Stadium on February 20 before heading to Stadio San Paolo in Naples for the return bout on February 27.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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