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 By Ben Gladwell
Aug 26, 2014

Callejon: Napoli need 'perfect game'

Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde believes that his side can finish the job and secure Champions League status in their second leg qualifier against Napoli.

Jose Callejon says Napoli are going to need "the perfect game" to prolong their Champions League dream this season.

The Azzurri travelled to Bilbao on Tuesday ahead of their decisive playoff second leg, knowing they need to score at least one goal at the Estadio San Mames. A 1-1 draw in the first leg a week ago has given the Spaniards "a slight advantage," according to Callejon, who is still confident the Serie A side will deliver the goods when it matters.

"We've just got to think that if we win this game, we will play in the Champions League -- the best competition in the world," he said at a news conference. "We're up against a very strong side, but we are Napoli, we are here to win and to play in the Champions League.

"We've got lots of top-class players and we want to show on the field how much we want to play in the Champions League this season."

Coach Rafael Benitez shares that desire, and he showed the same confidence as Callejon at Tuesday's pre-match meeting with the media.

"I'm not afraid of anything," he said. "We can cope with the pressure -- we have just the right players to do that tomorrow night. Athletic are not going to sit and wait and play for a 0-0 either. We've just got to think about scoring goals."

That will be the job of Gonzalo Higuain, who rescued Napoli a draw with his goal in the first leg.

"He's got to be decisive in every game he plays because he's the one who can make the difference," said Benitez. "Particularly against Athletic, like he did so many times before for Real Madrid. We have a lot of belief in ourselves and we are going there to win."

Higuain's goal in the first leg took his record to nine goals in 11 games against Athletic. Breaking into double figures on Wednesday night would give Napoli a fighting chance of joining Juventus and Roma in the group stage of the Champions League.

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