Napoli need Feyenoord win and help elsewhere

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Having kept themselves in contention last time out, SSC Napoli must now end Group F by inflicting a sixth loss in the section on Feyenoord – although even that might not be enough for the Italian side.

• Napoli moved within three points of second-placed FC Shakhtar Donetsk with a 3-0 win against their Ukrainian rivals on matchday five. That was only the first part of the equation, however; now the Partenopei must win at Feyenoord – whom they beat 3-1 in the reverse fixture – and hope Shakhtar lose at home to group winners Manchester City FC, who have maximum points. If that is the case, the Italian team will finish second on head-to-head.

• Feyenoord, who have lost every game on their group stage return, will finish fourth.

Match background

Feyenoord
• Feyenoord’s home record against Serie A sides is W2 D3 L1. The defeat came in the most recent fixture, a 2-1 loss against AS Roma in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg (2-3 aggregate).

• Feyenoord have not beaten an Italian opponent, home or away, since a 1-0 success at FC Internazionale Milano in the semi-final first leg of their triumphant UEFA Cup campaign in 2001/02. Their record since is D3 L3.

• At home in this season’s competition the Rotterdam club have lost 4-0 to Manchester City and 2-1 against Shakhtar.

• Before this season, 19 clubs had lost all six games in a UEFA Champions League group stage.

• The Rotterdammers have lost their last eight matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final – 12 including qualifying. 

• Feyenoord have not registered a home win in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final, since a 2-1 victory over FC Spartak Moskva on 31 October 2001. Their record since is D2 L3.

• Having lifted a first Eredivisie title in 18 years last season, Feyenoord are in the last 32 of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2002/03, when they were eliminated in the first group stage. They lost in the third qualifying round in both 2012/13 (to Dynamo Kyiv) and 2014/15 (Beşiktaş JK).

Napoli
• The Italian outfit have made two previous trips to the Netherlands, both in the UEFA Europa League group stage, and are still to win. They drew 3-3 at FC Utrecht in 2010/11 and lost 3-0 at PSV Eindhoven in 2012/13 with Dries Mertens, now a Napoli player, scoring the second goal.

• Matchday two brought Napoli’s first win against an Eredivisie club, home or away (D2 L2).

• Napoli have lost both away games in this season’s group stage, going down 2-1 at both Shakhtar on matchday one and Manchester City in the third round of fixtures.

• Defeats at Shakhtar and City mean Napoli have now lost four of their last 11 European away fixtures since the start of 2015/16 (W6 D1). They picked up seven points away from home in last year’s group stage.

• Napoli are in the group stage for the second year running. In 2016/17, the Partenopei lost to eventual champions Real Madrid CF in the round of 16, going down 3-1 both away and at home.

• The Serie A team qualified for this season’s group stage by beating OGC Nice 2-0 both home and away in the play-offs.

Coach and player links
• Mertens played in the Netherlands with AGOVV Appeldorn (2007–09), Utrecht (2009–11) and PSV (2011–13), winning the Dutch Cup with PSV in 2012.

• Mertens faced Feyenoord nine times in league and cup (W3 D2 L4), scoring twice.

• Arkadiusz Milik was at AFC Ajax between 2014 and 2016, netting 32 times in 52 Eredivisie outings, including two draws with Feyenoord.

• Kevin Diks is on loan at Feyenoord from ACF Fiorentina, for whom his second and most recent league appearance was a 3-3 draw with Napoli on 22 December 2016.

• Played together:
Brad Jones & Pepe Reina (Liverpool FC, 2010–13)

• Feyenoord coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst scored in the Netherlands’ 3-0 win against Italy in the UEFA EURO 2008 group stage.

Match facts

Feyenoord
• Karim El Ahmadi is available after serving a suspension on matchday five.

• Feyenoord have lost eight of their last 16 matches in all competitions, with two of their four victories in that spell coming in the Dutch Cup.*

• Nicolai Jørgensen, Feyenoord’s 25-goal top scorer last season, has scored in four of Feyenoord’s last five games.*

• The Dutch champions have won just one of their last six home games, losing three.*

Napoli
• Kalidou Koulibaly is available again after serving a suspension on matchday five. Christian Maggio and Dries Martens are a booking away from a ban.

• Napoli have picked up 38 points from a possible 42 in Serie A this term. They have kept a clean sheet in half of their 14 games.*

• Maurizio Sarri’s men are 26 games unbeaten (W22 D4) in Serie A, dating back to February.*

• Napoli are 21 games unbeaten away from home in Serie A (W18 D3), since a 2-1 defeat at Juventus on 29 October 2016.

• Dries Mertens has not scored for three consecutive Serie A games, his longest streak since the four games in which he failed to score between 29 October and 28 November 2016.*

• Marek Hamšík is one goal shy of Diego Maradona’s club record in all competitions (115).*

• Arkadiusz Milik has not featured since tearing knee ligaments for the second time in 12 months during the win at SPAL on 23 September.

• Faouzi Ghoulam is out with a torn anterior knee ligament suffered on matchday four.

• Maurizio Sarri was voted the 2016/17 Best Serie A Coach during the Gran Galà del Calcio, organised by the Association of Italian Footballers (AIC).

• Koulibaly, Hamšík and Mertens also made the team of the season.

• Mertens is on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or. The winner will be announced on 6 December.

*Subject to updates



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