After missing out on Champions League play last year, Napoli is back armed with new coach Rafael Benitez and hit man Gonzalo Higuain. Napoli was placed in Group F, which many are dubbing the group of death, drawing Borussia Dortmund, Olympique de Marseille and Arsenal. Napoli open up the competition tomorrow evening (2:45pm est.) at the Stadio San Paolo vs last years runner up Borussia Dortmund. Although Borussia Dortmund lost Mario Gotze they have added Henrik Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sokratis Papastathopoulos which have helped them start off league play a perfect 5-0 sitting on top of the Bundesliga Table.
Napoli have also reinforced with the likes of Pepe Reina, Higuain, Mertens, Callejon and Raul Albiol all players that have experience with international play. Their most important addition however could be Rafael Benitez who has been very successful in international play winning the Champions League title in 2005 with Liverpool.
This match has all the makings of a classic; both teams are coming off successful previous campaigns and off-seasons that have led both of them to a perfect start in their respective league campaigns. The Stadio San Paolo will be rocking with emotions tomorrow night as it was in 2011 when Napoli returned to Champions League after a long hiatus.
My prediction for tomorrows match is Napoli 2 – 2 Borussia Dortmund. It will not be an easy match for Napoli and Dortmund is probably their toughest opponent in the group. However, the atmosphere, fans and emotions should help them throughout the game.