Gonzalo Higuain Napoli
Gonzalo Higuain is a doubtful starter for Napoli. Reuters

Rafa Benitez begins his hunt for a second straight Europa League title when Napoli visit Swansea in the round of 32 first leg at the Liberty Stadium on Thursday night.

Where to Watch Live

The first leg is scheduled for a 9 pm CET (1.30 am IST Friday morning) start with live coverage on Ten Action in India. The live streaming option for the match is available in India HERE. Catch the action in the Canada HERE, while US viewers can live stream the game HERE. Middle East and North Africa viewers can go HERE, while South Africa viewers can catch the action HERE. Viewers in the UK can live stream the match HERE, while Australia viewers can do so HERE.  

Benitez led Chelsea to the Europa League crown last season, and after seeing Napoli agonisingly finish third on head-to-head in the "Group of Death" in the Champions League, the Spaniard will have to settle for glory in Europe's second tier competition again.

"It is important to win any match no matter if it's Champions League or the Europa League," the former Liverpool manager said.

"The Europa League is a very difficult and important competition. To win this tournament would be a big achievement for us."

Benitez is of course familiar with English Premier League opposition, and suffered defeat at the hands of Swansea in the League Cup semifinals last season. The Napoli manager believes his familiarity with England and Swansea, whom he faced three times last season with Chelsea, could work in his side's favour.

"It is going to be difficult to win this game -- to play a team from the Premier League is a challenge for us," Benitez said.

"I know Swansea and they are organised, play with a high tempo and passing game with quality players.  We know how they play, but it is all about the players on the pitch.

"I don't know if they [Swansea] will be concentrating on the Europa League or watching the teams below them in the [Premier League] table, but last season at Chelsea we lost to them in the cup and that must be a message for us tomorrow."

Swansea have struggled in the league this season, which resulted in Michael Laudrup being let go by the Welsh club. New manager Garry Monk has little experience on the European stage, and the former Swansea player will have to bring out all his aces to top Napoli, first at home, and then in the second leg in Italy.

"They are one of the best teams in Europe," Monk said. "I have watched their matches and they have very good players all the way from the goalkeeper to the attackers.

"They are a very powerful team in European football. We will be going up against a very good side, but we believe in ourselves to get a good result.

"Staying in the Premier League is fundamental to us, but a game like this is one to look forward to and enjoy.  This is a game we are really looking forward to - it's a big challenge against one of the best teams on the continent and hopefully we can get a positive result into the second leg."

Team news: Swansea: Monk revealed forward Michu would not be available again, with midfielder Jonjo Shelvey set to be assessed after suffering a hamstring injury. Alejandro Pozuelo, however, is expected to feature after recovering from a hip problem.

Napoli: Benitez is sweating on the fitness of striker Gonzalo Higuain and defender Raul Albiol.