FC Zurich's Sierra Leonean defender Umaru Bangura (L) and Ludogorets' Brazilian forward Junior Brandao vie for the ball during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Zurich and Ludogorets at Letzigrund stadium in Zurich on October 4, 2018. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Bangura hopeful ahead of Europa League first leg Napoli test

FC Zurich will fancy their chances of progressing to the Europa League next stage by eliminating the second best team this season in Serie A Napoli.

With the capital club hosting their Italian counterpart in Thursday’s debut appearance in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 for the first time, a tough test emerge.

The first leg will be played at the Letzigrund Stadium on Thursday, 14 February 2019, with the second-leg match taking place at the Stadio San Paolo the following week.

However, Sierra Leone skipper Umaru Bangura, who has been pivotal in their quest this season faced a curious situation.

“I am confident, despite knowing is going to be a tough game against one of the competition favourites,” Bangura told Football Sierra Leone.

“We are playing at home and, nothing is impossible in football, we’re capable of beating any team because this is football.”

Bangura confirmed the matchday excitement, “The city is waiting Italy is closer to Switzerland, it feels like an International derby.”

When asked to relate previous group matches to this round of 32 contest, Bangura said, “All the matches are not the same but, we have to be at our best against a very good team. Every team at this stage are top sides.”

Bangura’s presence at the heart of the Swiss defence was good enough as they went through to the group phase of a European competition for the first time in 11 years.

They ended up as runners-up to Bayer Leverkusen in UEFA Europa League Group thanks to their victories in each of their opening three fixtures.

The Italian side hoping to make up for the disappointment of narrowly losing out in a tough UEFA Champions’ League group.

During this year’s Champions League campaign, SSC Naples amassed nine points in the group with Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Red Star Belgrade.

The Italian side was eliminated from the competition because they scored fewer goals.

It could be recalled that he was part of the Zürich side that won the Swiss Cup that warrants their return to Europe’s second-tier competition as we as helping the side promotion to Swiss Super League.

Follow Us on Twitter @football_sierra, on Facebook/Instagram Football Sierra Leone – the writer @bittar32 contact: bittar@footballsierralene.net.

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