Napoli eye early qualification at Beşiktaş’ expense

8 Oct

SSC Napoli have maximum points from two games and can create a slice of history with a third win when they host a Beşiktaş JK side who have drawn both fixtures so far in Group B.

• It is the first time the teams have met in European competition.

Match background

• A Napoli win coupled with a draw between FC Dynamo Kyiv and SL Benfica would enable the Partenopei to become the first club ever to go through with three games still to play.

• Arkadiusz Milik scored two first-half headers on matchday one to help his side come from behind to beat ten-man FC Dynamo Kyiv 2-1 in Ukraine.

• The home game with SL Benfica then produced a superb attacking display by Maurizio Sarri’s side as they led 4-0 by the 54th minute with Dries Mertens scoring twice at Stadio San Paolo. The visitors side cut the deficit with two late goals.

• In 2013/14, Napoli’s most recent UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, they won all three home matches – against Borussia Dortmund, Olympique de Marseille and Arsenal FC. Yet they failed to qualify for the knockout rounds despite collecting 12 points, more than any other side that missed the qualification cut.

• In 2011/12, Napoli’s first UEFA Champions League foray, they reached the round of 16 where they bowed out to Chelsea FC, a 3-1 home win overturned by a 4-1 extra-time loss in London.

• In their only previous encounter with Turkish opponents, Napoli beat Trabzonspor AŞ 5-0 on aggregate in the 2014/15 UEFA Euopa League round of 16. Manolo Gabbiadini was among the scorers in a 4-0 away first-leg win while Mertens missed a late penalty.

• Napoli are unbeaten in 17 European home games (W12 D5) since a 3-0 loss to FC Viktoria Plzeň in the 2012/13 UEFA Europaa League round of 32. They scored 16 goals in last season’s four home games in the UEFA Europa League.

• A 1-1 draw at Benfica on matchday one came courtesy of a player from the Lisbon club as Talisca, loaned to Beşiktaş in August, struck a last-gasp equaliser.

• They were then involved in another 1-1 draw when Dynamo Kyiv pulled level on 65 minutes to cancel out Ricardo Quaresma’s free-kick in the first half.

• Back in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2009/10, the Turkish Süper Lig champions are hoping to negotiate the group stage hurdle for the first time at the sixth attempt.

• Seven years ago they picked up four points in their away games in Group B, winning at Manchester United FC. Losing all their home fixtures meant they finished bottom of the section.

• Beşiktaş have not won in 11 meetings with Italian foes, drawing two and losing nine. Their last such fixture came in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage, when Parma FC beat them 3-2 at home.

Coach and player links
• Gökhan Inler played for and captained Napoli between 2011 and 2015, helping the Partenopei to win the Coppa Italia twice and the Italian Super Cup once.

• Inler played for Udinese Calcio for four seasons before that and on 17 April 2011 scored the opening goal in their 2-1 win over Napoli in Serie A.

• Ricardo Quaresma scored the second goal in FC Porto’s 2-2 draw away to Beşiktaş in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 16 to earn a 3-2 aggregate win.

• Quaresma was at FC Internazionale Milano from 2008 to 2010, making 24 Serie A appearances.  

• Caner Erkin is on loan from Inter after joining the Nerazzurri this summer from Fenerbahçe SK.

• Şenol Güneş was in charge of Turkey for the 1-1 friendly draw with Italy in Pescara on 20 November 2002.

• Quaresma scored an extra-time winner as Portugal defeated Ivan Strinić’s Croatia in the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 in Lens. Marko Rog was an unused substitute for Croatia.

• Marcelo scored in PSV Eindhoven’s 3-0 home win against Napoli in the UEFA Europa League group stage on 4 October 2012. Atiba Hutchinson played 90 minutes for PSV.

• Played in same team:
Nikola Maksimović & Duško Tošić (FK Crvena zvezda, 2011/12 & Serbia)
Marcelo, Atiba Hutchinson & Mertens (PSV)


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