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UCL: Spalletti expects Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia to fire Napoli past Frankfurt

NAPOLI manager Luciano Spalletti is confident his side can advance past Eintracht Frankfurt into the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, with Victor Osimhen and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia playing major roles.

The Serie A leaders face Eintracht Frankfurt tonight in the first leg of their round of 16 tie, and Spalletti is tipping his two stars to ‘send messages to world football.’

Nigeria striker Osimhen is in the form of his life, scoring in each of his last seven Serie A matches. Overall this season, the 24-year-old has registered 19 goals and four assists in 23 appearances in all competitions.

On his part, 22-year-old Georgia wide forward Kvaratskhelia has produced 12 goals and nine assists in 24 appearances.

“I know my players quite well and I know what kind of men they are, so I expect the right attitude,” Spalletti said during his pre-match press conference last night.

“They have more experience than us in knock-out games, but we’ve been trying to develop this in the last few games, playing without thinking about the little advantage we have in Serie A.

“Eintracht are very aggressive but can also track back quickly. We all use different styles, but due to the quality in Europe, it’s very difficult to play constantly in the opposing half.”

On Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia, the Italian coach said: “In terms of maturity, I can mention Osimhen’s example. As soon as he felt a little problem with Sassuolo, he evaluated correctly, asking for a substitution.

“This is a player who can make the correct assessment. These two players have the flair, the fantasy and the quality to send messages to world football.

“At the same time, they are still very young. De Laurentiis and Giuntoli selected them from a big list of candidates. I am convinced they will have the right attitude against Eintracht Frankfurt.”

Napoli only lost one game in their UEFA Champions League group, which they won ahead of last year’s finalists Liverpool.

They have a 15-point lead at the top of the Serie A table as they hunt for their first title since 1990 when the legendary Diego Maradona inspired them to success.

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