San Paolo, Italy

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Napoli v Sassuolo: Preview

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez believes his team is heading into Wednesday's game against bottom side Sassuolo full of confidence.

Sunday's 2-1 victory at San Siro - Napoli's first success at AC Milan since 1986 - was the Azzurri's fifth consecutive win in all competitions and earned them a share of the Serie A lead.

Benitez's men are now level on 12 points with Roma.

``To win away at Milan as a coach, one has to be happy,'' the Spaniard said. ``The important thing was to show the right character and we did that until the end.

``It wasn't our best performance of the season, but to come here and win for a fifth consecutive victory is impressive.

``There are still certain things that we need to perfect to continue to win more games but we are on the right path.''

Napoli will be without right-back Christian Maggio for a month as he prepares to undergo surgery on a meniscus problem.

The Neapolitan outfit are clear favourites to emerge triumphant against a Sassuolo side that is struggling to adapt to life in Italy's top flight.

With no points collected from their opening four games, things are not going to plan for Neroverde coach Eusebio Di Francesco.

The Serie B champions head into the encounter at the Stadio San Paolo having been swept aside by Inter Milan 7-0 at the weekend.

And Di Francesco expects a drastic improvement from his players, starting in Naples.

``I am very saddened for our fans and for our club,'' Di Francesco said. ``Every time Inter attacked it was a goalscoring opportunity.

``It was a dismal performance by us, one not worthy of Serie A. It is possible to lose against Inter but not in this manner.

``I know this team is better than we showed against Inter and I expect an immediate response.''


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