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Background: Athletic v Napoli

Published: Friday 22 August 2014, 0.15CET
Athletic Club are eager to make it to the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since 1998/99 as SSC Napoli come to Spain for their play-off decider.
Background: Athletic v Napoli
Athletic's Carlos Gurpegi and Lorenzo Insigne of Napoli in action in the first leg ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored4
Total attempts29
on target10
off target13
against woodwork0
Yellow cards3
Red Cards0
Fouls committed35
Fouls suffered21

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
Published: Friday 22 August 2014, 0.15CET

Background: Athletic v Napoli

Athletic Club are eager to make it to the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since 1998/99 as SSC Napoli come to Spain for their play-off decider.

Athletic Club will look to make it to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for only the second time – and the first time in 16 years – as their play-off tie against SSC Napoli concludes in Bilbao.

Previous meetings
• The teams had never met prior to their 1-1 draw in Italy in the first leg.

Form guide
Athletic's 14 games against Italian sides have ended W7 D3 L4 (W6 D1 L0 in Bilbao – W1 D2 L4 in Italy). They are unbeaten in six games against Italian sides (W3 D3).

Napoli's record in nine European games against Spanish sides is W4 D3 L2 (W2 D3 L0 at home – W2 D0 L2 in Spain). In their only prior meetings with Liga sides in this competition, they had beaten Villarreal CF 2-0 home and away in their 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage.

Athletic's only previous UEFA Champions League group stage campaign was in 1998/99; Napoli have made it to the group stage twice: in 2011/12 and again last season.

Athletic have lost just once in ten home games in Europe's top club competition (W6 D3 L1), going down 1-0 against Liverpool FC in the 1983/84 second round.

Links and trivia
Napoli's Spanish coach Rafael Benítez is familiar with the Basque Country from his time as coach of CA Osasuna, in 1996/97; Benítez's record in 12 games against Athletic as a coach is W4 D4 L4. He has yet to win an away game in Bilbao.

• Benítez signed Mikel San José from Athletic in 2007, during his time as Liverpool FC coach. However, the defender returned to Bilbao – initially on loan – in 2009 without making a single first-team appearance for the Reds.

Napoli boast Spanish talent in the form of defender Raúl Albiol, forward José María Callejón and new striker Michu, who made his Liga debut, for Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, in a 1-1 draw at Athletic on 28 August 2011. Henrique (FC Barcelona and Real Racing Club Santander) and Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid CF) also have Liga experience.

• Higuaín enjoyed his games against Athletic with Madrid, scoring eight goals in ten fixtures – all of them wins.

Athletic's Iker Munain came on as a substitute in the final of the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship as Spain defeated an Italy side including Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne 4-2.

Napoli midfielder Gökhan Inler captained Switzerland to a 1-0 victory over Spain at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals.

Last updated: 30/05/15 7.10CET

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