• Champions League

Benitez: Wenger is best Premier League boss

ESPN staff
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Wenger: Qualification is the key


Napoli boss Rafael Benitez believes Arsene Wenger is the best manager in the Premier League.

Benitez's side host Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday, with the Gunners only needing to avoid a heavy defeat in Naples in order to qualify for the knockout stages.

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However, Benitez regards Wenger as a better manager than the likes of Jose Mourinho - who replaced the Spaniard at Chelsea last summer - and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

"For me Wenger is the best coach in the Premier League and knows what his team must do," Benitez said. "In modern football everyone knows the quality of their rivals. Arsenal is a very strong side.

"This could be the year they win the Premier League. Arsenal will try to control possession and hit us with counter attacks. We have to do our thing, focus on ourselves and not on them."

Wenger has led the North London side to the top of the Premier League table, five points clear of Liverpool and 13 points ahead of defending champions Manchester United.

While Benitez admitted it would be a tough ask for his team to overcome the challenge of the visitors, the 53-year-old stated it would be a beneficial experience in playing such a strong side.

"We have nothing to lose. For us to play at home gives us an added strength," Benitez said. "We were unlucky to be placed in such a difficult group but for me, it's better to experience these games rather than watch them on TV."

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