Jordan Larsson

'They Have Terrific Support' – An Expert's Take On Leicester's European Opposition

Speaking shortly after Leicester City were joined in Group C by Napoli, Spartak Moscow and Legia Warsaw, European football expert Chris Parrott provided a rundown of what the Foxes can expect in the UEFA Europa League.
More on this story...

- European football expert Chris Parrott assesses Leicester City's UEFA Europa League group
- The Foxes will face Napoli, Spartak Moscow and Legia Warsaw in Group C
- Parrott believes City could hardly have got a more exciting pool of teams to face

Ahead of the Club's second successive campaign in the European contest, Brendan Rodgers' men discovered they will face three teams who possess real pedigree in continental competition across the next four months.  

Group C begins with Napoli visiting Filbert Way on Thursday 16 September before successive away trips to Moscow and then Warsaw. The campaign ends, on the other hand, with Leicester heading to Italy to tackle Napoli once again at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

"What a trip that will be to the old Stadio San Paolo, now named after Diego Maradona of course," Parrott said. "They have an unbelievable squad. They have a new coach in Luciano Spalletti. They have the likes of Lorenzo Insigne, who was so important to Italy winning EURO 2020. 

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Luciano Spalletti
Luciano Spalletti

Former Roma, Zenit Saint Petersburg and Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti is in charge in Naples.

"They have Kalidou Koulibaly as well, they have young Victor Osimhen, who they paid a lot of money for from Lille 12 months ago. They are many peoples' dark horses, maybe even favourites, to win the Italian title this season, ahead of Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan.

"It will be a brilliant occasion. They have terrific support. The atmospheres will be nights to remember. That is exactly what you want in a European campaign... a side of the quality and the stature of Napoli."

The group stage draw also presents City with a trip to Moscow, which falls on Wednesday 20 October, before Russian giants Spartak then head to Leicester on Thursday 4 November. As 22-time champions in their homeland, there is no doubting their credentials. 

"It gets incredibly cold in the Russian capital," Parrott added. "You'll need your hats and coats for it. They lost to Benfica in Champions League qualifying, which was a big blow. They are probably the biggest Russian club. They have the most support in Russia, across the whole country, not just Moscow.

[Legia] are champions of Poland. They knocked out Slavia Prague in qualifying, so that is their pedigree. In goal, they have Artur Boruc, who knows a lot about English and Scottish football. They were one of the teams who look like a very tricky away trip.

Chris Parrott LCFC TV

"They have a Portuguese manager in charge in Rui Vitória. They have Victor Moses, who has Premier League experience, too. They are, squad-wise and finance-wise, a little behind Zenit Saint Petersburg, who are in the Champions League this year.

"But this is a club with a huge history and they'll be looking at Leicester, as FA Cup winners, and Napoli, as a serious side in Serie A, and they'll be thinking it's a difficult group for them. If we're talking of cities to go to, Naples and Moscow make for a pretty good adventure."

The final team to be drawn into Group C were Polish champions Legia Warsaw. After hosting the Foxes on Thursday 30 September, the Legionaries are then set to arrive in the East Midlands on Thursday 25 November. Once again, both ties promise to be fascinating contests. 

"That stadium is very, very loud," said Parrott. "They are champions of Poland. They knocked out Slavia Prague in qualifying, so that is their pedigree. In goal, they have Artur Boruc, who knows a lot about English and Scottish football. They were one of the teams who look like a very tricky away trip.

"If the stadiums are full, they are three incredibly loud and intimidating away days for Leicester City."

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