Ancelotti's Napoli faces Arsenal in Europa League

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The Gunners recovered from a 3-1 deficit on Thursday evening to beat Ligue 1 also-rans Rennes 4-3 on aggregate but now take on much stiffer opposition in the form of Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli.

They've slid down the table to 11th, a long way off the pace for a Europa League position.

'We started to defend in a very good way in the last month, I think.

"It's always very hard when you lose the first game", the 25-year-old defender said after Arsenal sent Rennes packing from the Europa League.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri believes Ruben Loftus-Cheek has what it takes to become "one of the best midfielders in Europe".

Even though Higuain is set to be available for selection at Goodison Park this weekend, Sarri may well decide to give Giroud a first Premier League start of the year following his impressive performance in the week.

Ancelotti's Napoli faces Arsenal in Europa League
Ancelotti's Napoli faces Arsenal in Europa League

"So, for me, it will be very hard to play against them in Naples".

Olivier Giroud's flawless hat-trick away at Dynamo Kiev took his Europa League goal tally to nine, the highest in the competition so far. Physically, technically, he is improving tactically.

Hudson-Odoi continued his eye-catching Europa League campaign with a goal and an assist at the Olympic Stadium, and Sarri was encouraged by the 18-year-old's display - while sounding a familiar note of caution.

Hudson-Odoi also continued his fine run in the competition with a fourth goal in Europe this season and while Walker thinks he will only get better, Giroud could act as the flawless role-model for him.

Arkadiusz Milik scored a crucial away goal in the 14th minute to all but end the tie, leaving Salzburg needing five unanswered goals to progress.

The 19-year-old Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov's 85th-minute effort looked set to dump out the Spaniards on away goals, but Portugal global Guedes came off the bench to send Valencia through. They've got a real chance of the top four.

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Messi added: "There are some very good teams left like Manchester City, Juventus like I said". Liverpool eliminated Bundesliga power Bayern Munich 3-1 to make the final cut.

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