Walter Gargano, midfielder for Italian side Napoli, has revealed that he is not in the slightest bit scared of Liverpool ahead of the game between the two sides next Thursday in the Europa League.
Rewind a couple of years and the thought of a second rate team from elsewhere in Europe dismissing Liverpool in such a manner would be unthinkable; this is, after all, a side that won the Champions League not so many years ago and had serious Premier League title ambitions a couple of seasons back. Now, though, the controversial attitude of Gargano is in fact entirely understandable.
Those who bet on UEFA Europa League note that the days in which Liverpool were a European powerhouse to be feared far and wide in European competition seem like ancient history, with the Reds currently occupying an unwanted spot in the Premier League relegation zone and preparing amid off the pitch instability for a crucial derby against rivals Everton on Sunday.
A defeat in that fixture, even a narrow one, would provide the worst kind of preparation for Liverpool's Europa League fixture next week, which is surely going to be a tough one, with the Reds coming up against the team that, according to Gargano, are "not scared" of the Merseyside club and in fact have dreams of winning the Europa League this season.
The Italian side have enjoyed a fairly decent start to their domestic campaign this year, sitting level on points alongside Inter Milan and AC Milan in the Serie A table and just two points behind current leaders Lazio.
The current odds to win Europa League don't exactly make Napoli massive favourites for glory in the competition this season but that doesn't mean that they should be written off; just think back to Fulham's travels through the competition last year and you'll realise that even the smallest club is capable of making a big splash against all the odds.