Football: Benitez wary of Dnipro's threat to Napoli in Europa League semi-final

PARIS (AFP) - Rafael Benitez is expecting no favours from Ukraine underdogs Dnipro for his swashbuckling Napoli side while holders Sevilla await Fiorentina in Thursday's Europa League semi-final, first-leg ties.

A third Europa League title is at stake for knock-out king Benitez who won the Champions League with Liverpool in 2005, the then Uefa Cup with Valencia in 2004 and the Europa League for Chelsea in 2013.

A place in next season's Champions League is on offer to the winner of the competition for the first time.

Fourth in Serie A and fresh from a 3-0 win over AC Milan, Napoli's free-scoring football has the Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain as a spearhead.

He has seven goals in the competition, backed by a trident of attacking midfielders.

Little known Dnipro have been a top-four side for much of the past 20 seasons in Ukraine.

Benitez said he would pay them every respect.

"Dnipro has already shown their capacity and potential beating teams like Olympiakos, Ajax and Bruges. All of those teams are well-known in Europe and have been knocked out by this Ukrainian team," he said.

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