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Napoli on revenge mission against Villarreal

Published: Thursday 15 September 2011, 8.45CET
SSC Napoli will look to avenge last season's UEFA Europa League elimination when they welcome Villarreal CF to the Stadio San Paolo with both teams seeking a first Group A win.
Napoli on revenge mission against Villarreal
Ezequiel Lavezzi (right) gets in a shot in last season's UEFA Europa League encounter ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored14
Attempts on target31
Attempts off target47
Fouls committed120
Yellow cards21
Red cards1
Published: Thursday 15 September 2011, 8.45CET

Napoli on revenge mission against Villarreal

SSC Napoli will look to avenge last season's UEFA Europa League elimination when they welcome Villarreal CF to the Stadio San Paolo with both teams seeking a first Group A win.

SSC Napoli will not be short of motivation when they welcome Villarreal CF to the Stadio San Paolo.

• Villarreal eliminated Walter Mazzarri's team from last season's UEFA Europa League at the round of 32 stage but the Italian side have a swift opportunity to make amends and can take heart from an eight-match unbeaten home run in continental competition.

• Villarreal surrendered their own unbeaten home UEFA Champions League record on matchday one, losing 2-0 to FC Bayern München at El Madrigal – their heaviest home defeat in UEFA competition – while Napoli began with a creditable 1-1 draw at Manchester City FC.

Previous meetings
• Villarreal came from behind to win the teams' UEFA Europa League encounter in February. After a goalless draw in Naples where the home side lost Salvatore Aronica to a red card, Juan Carlos Garrido's men fell behind to an 18th-minute Marek Hamšík goal in the return but replied through Nilmar (42) and Giuseppe Rossi (45) to progress.

• The lineups for their meeting in southern Italy on 17 February were:
Napoli: De Sanctis, Campagnaro, Cribari, Aronica, Maggio, Gargano (Sosa 78), Yebda (Pazienza 68), Dossena, Mascara (Hamšík 61) Lavezzi, Cavani.
Villarreal: Diego López, Gaspar, Gonzalo, Musacchio, Capdevila, Borja Valero, Senna (Marchena 61), Bruno Soriano, Santi Cazorla (Catalá 86), Nilmar, Rossi (Marco Ruben 77).

Match background
• Napoli are hosting their first European Cup match since 1990 and are unbeaten in the competition at the Stadio San Paolo, having recorded one victory and two draws during their campaigns of 1987/88 and 1990/91.

• Napoli have not lost a home European fixture since a 1-0 reverse against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Cup third round in December 1994. They did not concede a goal in five UEFA Europa League games in Naples last term and since returning to European competition in 2008 have registered five wins and three draws at the Stadio San Paolo.

• The Serie A club have faced Spanish opposition only twice before on home soil, drawing 1-1 with Real Madrid CF in a 1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round tie they eventually lost 3-1 on aggregate. In the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round Daniel Fonseca scored the only goal against Valencia CF, having already hit all five Napoli goals in a 5-1 first-leg win in Spain.

• Villarreal lost at Odense BK in the UEFA Champions League play-offs in August but won four of their eight games on the road in last season's UEFA Europa League as they reached the semi-finals.

• In Villarreal's two previous UEFA Champions League group stage campaigns (2005/06 and 2008/09), they drew four of their six away games, losing just once.

• The Spanish side have lost four and drawn two of their six trips to Italy. Their most recent visit brought a 2-1 loss at S.S. Lazio in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Team ties
• Goran Pandev played for Lazio in their 1-1 home draw with a Villarreal side that included Gonzalo Rodríguez in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage. The forward scored twice against Spain for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in a 3-2 friendly defeat in 2009, and three times against Real Madrid for Lazio in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Christian Maggio is a team-mate of Rossi with Italy while Juan Camilo Zúñiga and Cristián Zapata play together for Colombia.

• Edinson Cavani and Hernán Peréz were second-half substitutes for Uruguay and Paraguay respectively in July's Copa América final in Buenos Aires, Uruguay winning 3-0.

• Zapata joined Villarreal this summer after six seasons at Udinese Calcio, where he had spells playing alongside Morgan De Sanctis, Andrea Dossena and Gökhan Inler. Zapata faced Napoli six times, recording two wins, two draws and two defeats, scoring a third-minute own goal in a 3-1 loss at the Stadio San Paolo on 2 February 2008.

• De Sanctis spent 2007/08 at Sevilla FC, making eight Liga appearances.

• Mario Santana started his career at CA San Lorenzo in Argentina but left in 2001/02, the season before Gonzalo broke into the first team. Ezequiel Lavezzi also played for San Lorenzo.

Last updated: 25/09/11 22.25CET

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