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Buoyant Napoli have Chelsea scalp in their sights

Published: Monday 2 January 2012, 8.45CET
SSC Napoli have already accounted for one Premier League powerhouse in their UEFA Champions League debut season and are now aiming to inflict a fatal blow on Chelsea FC.

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Published: Monday 2 January 2012, 8.45CET

Buoyant Napoli have Chelsea scalp in their sights

SSC Napoli have already accounted for one Premier League powerhouse in their UEFA Champions League debut season and are now aiming to inflict a fatal blow on Chelsea FC.

SSC Napoli ended Manchester City FC's hopes in the UEFA Champions League group stage and will be looking to do the same to another English team when they welcome Chelsea FC in the first leg of their round of 16 encounter.

• In the first ever fixture between the sides, the Italian team will be keen to continue their fine European home run. Since returning to continental competition after 13 years in 2008, Napoli have gone 11 matches unbeaten. The last foreign outfit to prevail in Naples were Eintracht Frankfurt in December 1994.

Match background
• This is only Napoli's third home assignment against English opponents – although all have come in the space of 17 months. Their first was a goalless draw with Liverpool FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• The meeting with Manchester City at the Stadio San Paolo on 22 November proved pivotal to their qualification hopes this season. Edinson Cavani's two goals steered the Partenopei to a 2-1 victory and an eventual one-point advantage over the Roberto Mancini's side at the conclusion of Group A.

• Napoli registered another home win in the section, beating Villarreal CF 2-0, while between those victories came a 1-1 draw with FC Bayern München. Toni Kroos's early goal for Bayern on matchday three ended Napoli's impressive run of 573 minutes without conceding at home in Europe.

• Chelsea, who are competing in the last 16 for the ninth season in succession, have won only once in seven visits to Italy, a 4-0 group stage success at S.S. Lazio in 2003/04. The other six games have resulted in three defeats and three draws.

• Their last visit was a 2-1 defeat by FC Internazionale Milano at this stage two years ago. The Italian side, under former Chelsea manager José Mourinho, won 3-1 on aggregate as they built a momentum which propelled them to their third European Champion Clubs' Cup title.

• In knockout contests against Serie A sides, however, Chelsea have two triumphs from three attempts. They knocked out Juventus 3-2 on aggregate at this stage in 2008/09 and beat Vicenza Calcio by the same overall score in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-finals en route to lifting that trophy for the second time.

• Last season the London side won 2-0 at FC København in the round of 16 first leg, also the aggregate score. They bowed out of the competition in the quarter-finals after Manchester United FC beat them 1-0 away and 2-1 at Old Trafford.

• Chelsea won their group for the fifth time in six seasons without recording a victory on their travels. They drew at Valencia CF and KRC Genk and lost at Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Team ties
• Between 2008 and 2009, André Villas-Boas worked as an assistant to Mourinho at Inter.

• Andrea Dossena and Fernando Torres were team-mates at Liverpool FC between 2008 and 2010.

• Salomon Kalou scored Chelsea's goal in the 2-1 defeat at Goran Pandev's Inter in the first leg of that 2009/10 UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie.

• Frank Lampard scored from the penalty spot at Wembley as England drew 2-2 against a Switzerland side which included Gökhan Inler and Blerim Dzemaili in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier on 4 June 2011. John Terry and Ashley Cole also appeared for the home side.

• Marek Hamšík scored a 73rd-minute penalty past Petr Čech as Slovakia earned a 2-2 home draw against the Czech Republic in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in September 2009.

• Inler captained the Swiss side which beat Spain 1-0 in their opening 2010 World Cup group stage game in Durban. Torres appeared as a second-half substitute while Juan Mata remained on the bench.

• Inler's Switzerland beat Portugal 2-0 at UEFA EURO 2008 in Basel. Paulo Ferreira and Raul Meireles were in the opposition lineup while José Bosingwa was on the bench.

• In the opening game of that tournament Inler faced Čech as the goalkeeper's Czech Republic side beat the co-hosts 1-0 in Basel.

Last updated: 05/12/13 19.07CET

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