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