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Napoli and City have all to play for

Published: Monday 7 November 2011, 8.45CET
Manchester City FC travel to Italy on matchday five seeking a win to reach the last 16 but SSC Napoli have a proud home record to defend and qualifying ambitions of their own.
Napoli and City have all to play for
Edinson Cavani scored Napoli's goal when the clubs drew 1-1 in Manchester ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

NapoliMan. City

Goals scored14
 
9
Attempts on target31
 
36
Attempts off target47
 
42
Corners48
 
26
Offsides27
 
16
Fouls committed120
 
73
Yellow cards21
 
10
Red cards1
 
0
 
Published: Monday 7 November 2011, 8.45CET

Napoli and City have all to play for

Manchester City FC travel to Italy on matchday five seeking a win to reach the last 16 but SSC Napoli have a proud home record to defend and qualifying ambitions of their own.

Manchester City FC take on SSC Napoli knowing that victory would take them through to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League for the first time.

• City, second in Group A, arrive in Naples with a two-point advantage over third-placed Napoli and buoyed by back-to-back successes against Villarreal CF. Napoli slipped below City after losing at FC Bayern München last time out but will be determined to bounce back with victory – and recent history should show City that winning in Naples is easier said than done.

Match background
• Napoli can draw strength from not just their 1-1 draw in Manchester on matchday one but, moreover, their formidable recent home record in Europe. Since returning to continental competition after 13 years in 2008, they are unbeaten in ten matches, including a win against Villarreal and draw with Bayern this season. The last foreign team to prevail in Naples were Eintracht Frankfurt in December 1994.

• Walter Mazzarri's men have a miserly defensive record at the Stadio San Paolo too. Toni Kroos' goal for Bayern in the 1-1 draw on matchday three ended an impressive run of 573 minutes without conceding at home in Europe.

• This is only Napoli's second home meeting with English opponents – following a goalless draw with Liverpool FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League.

• City are now seeking their first win in Italy at the fourth attempt, having managed two small pieces of history – a first ever European Cup win, then a first away victory in the competition in their two meetings with Villarreal.

• Last season City ended a wait of three decades to visit Serie A opposition when they drew 1-1 at Juventus in the UEFA Europa League group stage. The subsequent draw in Turin, and the matchday one result with Napoli, means City's last three games against Serie A sides have all finished 1-1.

• Their previous trips to Italy had come in the 1970s with Brian Kidd, now Roberto Mancini's assistant manager, scoring in a 2-2 draw at AC Milan in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup third round; Kidd also found the net in City's 3-0 home win.

Team ties
• City's Italian manager Mancini has faced Napoli as both player and coach. In the latter guise, when in charge of FC Internazionale Milano in 2007/08, he recorded a 2-1 home victory and 1-0 away defeat.

• As a player Mancini scored in UC Sampdoria's 4-1 aggregate win against Napoli in the 1989 Coppa Italia final. It was also against Napoli that he struck what is remembered in Italy as perhaps his finest goal for Sampdoria – a spectacular volley in a 4-1 win at the Stadio San Paolo in 1990/91, the year his old team won the Scudetto. The following season Mancini scored five goals to help Sampdoria reach the European Champion Clubs' Cup final.

• Mario Balotelli played in Italy's friendly internationals against Poland Uruguay on 11 and 15 November, scoring in a 2-0 defeat of the former. Morgan De Sanctis was an unused substitute in both games, while Edinson Cavani appeared for Uruguay in their 1-0 victory.

• City's first-team coach David Platt scored the winner in Juventus' 4-3 defeat of Napoli in March 1993.

• Sergio Agüero is the son-in-law of Diego Maradona, the inspiration behind Napoli's 1987 and 1990 title triumphs.

• Agüero and Pablo Zabaleta are team-mates of Federico Fernández with Argentina.

• Andrea Dossena spent 18 months with Liverpool between 2008 and 2010. He scored his only Premier League goal against City's neighbours Manchester United FC in a 4-1 win at Old Trafford on 14 March 2009.

• Walter Gargano was on target for Uruguay in their penalty shoot-out win against an Argentina side including Agüero, Carlos Tévez and Zabaleta in the quarter-finals of July's Copa América. Tévez missed his spot kick while Napoli's Ezequiel Lavezzi and Cavani were unused by Argentina and Uruguay respectively. Lavezzi played alongside Zabaleta for Argentina's CA San Lorenzo in 2004/05.

• Aleksandr Kolarov came up against Christian Maggio when his Serbia side were held 1-1 by Italy in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier last month – a result that dented Serbia's ultimately dashed hopes of reaching the finals.

• Kolarov and Goran Pandev were team-mates at S.S. Lazio between 2007 and 2009. Mancini had just left Lazio as coach when Pandev joined the capital side in 2004 and departed Inter before the forward joined the Nerazzurri.

Last updated: 20/11/11 19.12CET

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