Kasper Schmeichel

Schmeichel: A New Challenge & It’s Always Exciting

Not long before Kasper Schmeichel stepped into the pouring rain in Naples to train prior to Thursday’s UEFA Europa League clash with Napoli, he spoke to the media to discuss Leicester City’s challenge in Italy.
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- Kasper Schmeichel speaks to the press in advance of Thursday’s UEFA Europa League fixture away to Napoli
- If Leicester City win, they will automatically qualify for the Round of 16
- They are currently top of Group C with only one game to play
- Schmeichel says the Foxes will enjoy the match at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona

The Foxes know a win guarantees them top spot in Group C, while a point would see them qualify for a play-off early in 2022 as they seek to advance to the knockout phases of the competition for a second-straight year.

At Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, amidst the bustling city streets, Denmark international Schmeichel emphasised the value of European games, for both the Football Club and its supporters.  

“European football is something special,” he said. “Getting to come to stadiums like this and have nights like tomorrow is something that we want to have more of, so tomorrow night is an incredibly important game for us as players.

“Also, the fans, they enjoy being able to come to occasions like this. European nights are something slightly different to what we normally have, so we look forward to them always.

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Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel

The Dane spoke positively ahead of Thursday's showdown in Naples.

“When you go and play in Europe, you realise there just isn’t any easy games at all. On paper, there have probably been games that we were expected to win and we haven’t in this group, but that’s just the unpredictability and excitement of European football.

“You come up against teams that you’re not used to and styles of play that you’re not used to every day in the Premier League. It’s a new challenge and it’s always exciting.”

Schmeichel, when asked about the younger players within the group, spoke confidently of their abilities ahead of what is set to be a raucous European night in southern Italy.

Although Brendan Rodgers would later confirm several players have not travelled due to illness, the City No.1 says the blend of youth and experience are two key ingredients in any successful side.

He said: “It’s always important to have a mixture of youth and experience and like I say, these games are something you should look forward to and you should relish.

“It’s not something you get to do every single day, but the message from the ones that have been in these situations before is just enjoy it.

Any time you come to a well-established European club like Napoli, it’s a big test for you, particularly in the circumstances where we’re all fighting to go through.

Kasper Schmeichel

“These occasions are rare, so look forward to them, don’t be nervous and just go out there.”

There is no doubting the quality of opposition City will face on Thursday. Napoli are one of Italy’s powerhouses, they are regulars in Europe and have already shown their ability to win games this season in Serie A, as well as Group C of the Europa League.

“Any time you come to a well-established European club like Napoli, it’s a big test for you, particularly in the circumstances where we’re all fighting to go through,” Schmeichel added.

“It’s a big test, and if we come through it, there’s probably some confidence to be taken from that.

“I’m sure that isn’t the way we’re thinking at the moment, we’re thinking of the game and not really thinking of what we can do in the long run. It might inspire a bit of confidence.

“Winning always does – fingers crossed that we win.”

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