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Qualification carrot dangling before Dnipro

Published: Monday 29 October 2012, 9.00CET
A fourth win in as many Group F outings will send FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk through to the round of 32 with two games to spare, but SSC Napoli are no pushovers at home.
Qualification carrot dangling before Dnipro
Matheus celebrates scoring against Napoli on matchday three ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Monday 29 October 2012, 9.00CET

Qualification carrot dangling before Dnipro

A fourth win in as many Group F outings will send FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk through to the round of 32 with two games to spare, but SSC Napoli are no pushovers at home.

FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk will look to seal early qualification from UEFA Europa League Group F by inflicting a rare home reverse on SSC Napoli.

• Dnipro made it three wins from three in the section when they defeated Napoli 3-1 last time out, with Artem Fedetskiy, Matheus and Giuliano on target before Edinson Cavani reduced the Partenopei's arrears from the spot 15 minutes from time.

• The Ukrainian team will qualify for the round of 32 with two games to spare if they register their fifth successive European win on matchday four.

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the first time on matchday three in what was Napoli's maiden encounter with a Ukrainian club.

• Dnipro's only previous 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 have won only one of the last nine meetings between clubs from Italy and Ukraine, with the Ukrainian outfit triumphing in six of those games. Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri has now lost all three of his games against Ukrainian teams, with his UC Sampdoria ensemble losing to FC Metalist Kharkiv home and away without scoring in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32.

Match background
• Dnipro are unbeaten in six European matches (W5 D1) and have beaten FC Slovan Liberec, PSV Eindhoven and Napoli by two-goal margins at home this season.

• Napoli are unbeaten in 15 European home games (11 wins and four draws), a run which stretches back to a 1-0 UEFA Cup third round loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on 7 December 1994.

Team facts
• Dnipro, Liverpool FC and Olympique Lyonnais are the highest-scoring sides in this season’s group stage with eight goals each.

• Holders Club Atlético de Madrid, Dnipro and Lyon are the only teams going into matchday four with the full complement of nine points.

• Napoli's Eduardo Vargas is one of the top scorers in the group stage, level on three goals with Hapoel Kiryat Shmona FC's Shimon Abuhazira, Liverpool FC's Jonjo Shelvey, KRC Genk's Benjamin De Ceulaer and BSC Young Boys' Raúl Bobadilla.

• Dnipro are three goals shy of their 100th in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League – this will be their 66th game in the two competitions.

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

• Dnipro coach Juande Ramos famously won the UEFA Cup in successive seasons with Sevilla FC 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.

• Walter 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.

Last updated: 06/11/12 12.22CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000356/match=2009974/prematch/background/index.html#qualification+carrot+dangling+before+dnipro

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