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Napoli challenge perfect Dnipro

Published: Tuesday 9 October 2012, 17.05CET
SSC Napoli will need to put a poor run of form away from home behind them when they head to Ukraine to face FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, who have made a flawless start in Group F.
Napoli challenge perfect Dnipro
Napoli face unbeaten Dnipro on matchday three ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 9 October 2012, 17.05CET

Napoli challenge perfect Dnipro

SSC Napoli will need to put a poor run of form away from home behind them when they head to Ukraine to face FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, who have made a flawless start in Group F.

After an impressive start in UEFA Europa League Group F, FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk will look to make it three wins from three as they take on SSC Napoli.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time and this is Napoli's maiden encounter with a Ukrainian club.

• Dnipro's only experience of Italian opposition came in the first round of the 2001/02 UEFA Cup, where they drew 0-0 at home against ACF Fiorentina then lost 2-1 in the return leg in Italy.

• The Serie A side has won only one of the last eight meetings between clubs from Italy and Ukraine, with the Ukrainian team triumphing in five of those games. Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri will also know that FC Dynamo Kyiv and FC Shakhtar Donetsk are not the only Ukrainian sides with European pedigree – his UC Sampdoria side lost to FC Metalist Kharkiv home and away without scoring in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32.

Match background
• Dnipro are unbeaten in five European matches (W4 D1) and have beaten FC Slovan Liberec and PSV Eindhoven by two-goal margins at home this season.

• Napoli have lost their last two continental away games by three-goal margins – 4-1 after extra time at Chelsea FC in last season's UEFA Champions League round of 16 and then 3-0 at PSV on matchday two.

Team facts
• Only Club Atlético de Madrid, Dnipro and Olympique Lyonnais go into matchday three with maximum points from their opening games.

• Napoli's Eduardo Vargas and Liverpool FC's Jonjo Shelvey are the top scorers in this season's group stage with three goals each.

• Dnipro defender Ondřej Mazuch played in Italy for Fiorentina from 2007-10, where Napoli midfielder Marco Donadel and defender Alessandro Gamberini were among his team-mates.

• Ramos famously won the UEFA Cup in successive seasons with Sevilla in 2005/06 and 2006/07, with the one-time lower-league midfielder going on to lift the English League Cup at Tottenham Hotspur FC and then take charge of Real Madrid CF and (for just 47 days) PFC CSKA Moskva. He has been in command at Dnipro since October 2010.

• Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis briefly played under Ramos at Sevilla: he joined the club in June 2007, and the coach moved on to Tottenham that October.

• Mazzarri spent most of his playing career as a central defender outside Serie A and after assisting Renzo Ulivieri as Napoli boss, struck out on his own. He worked his way up the divisions as a coach, before reaching Serie A with AS Livorno Calcio and Reggina Calcio, guiding Sampdoria through the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage and then taking command at Napoli in October 2009.

• This is FARE Action Week, with UEFA giving its support to Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign. There are activities before each UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League game which will be witnessed by thousands of fans in the stadiums and millions on television. A 30-second RESPECT TV spot and announcements over stadium loudspeakers will encourage fans to join the UEFA family in its call to unite against racism in football. Every team will be accompanied on to the pitch by children wearing Unite Against Racism T-shirts and captains will be asked to wear a Unite Against Racism armband.

Last updated: 30/10/12 13.50CET

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