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Steaua hope Napoli visit will end Serie A drought

Published: Saturday 18 September 2010, 1.23CET
FC Steaua Bucureşti have played 11 games against Italian sides but have yet to win or even score, something they will be aiming to put right when SSC Napoli come calling in Group K.
Steaua hope Napoli visit will end Serie A drought
Steaua lost on Matchday 1, but did score, something they will hope to do for the first time against Italian opposition ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

SteauaNapoli

Goals scored9
 
9
Attempts on target19
 
51
Attempts off target32
 
47
Corners31
 
57
Offsides7
 
11
Fouls committed93
 
102
Yellow cards19
 
32
Red cards1
 
2

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Published: Saturday 18 September 2010, 1.23CET

Steaua hope Napoli visit will end Serie A drought

FC Steaua Bucureşti have played 11 games against Italian sides but have yet to win or even score, something they will be aiming to put right when SSC Napoli come calling in Group K.

FC Steaua Bucureşti will be eager to earn a maiden victory – and indeed score a first goal – against an Italian side as SSC Napoli return to Bucharest in UEFA Europa League Group K, 39 years to the day after their last visit.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition.

• Steaua have yet to win – or indeed score a goal – in 11 games against Italian sides, with their record reading W0 D4 L7 (W0 D2 L2 in Bucharest). Those defeats also include a 4-0 loss against AC Milan in the 1989 European Champion Clubs' Cup final in Barcelona.

• Their last five games against Italian opposition have produced just two goals, with the games ending in three 0-0 draws and two 1-0 wins for the Serie A club.

• Napoli fans with long memories may recall their only previous meetings with a Romanian club, in the first round of the inaugural UEFA Cup, in 1971/72. Napoli beat FC Rapid Bucureşti 1-0 at home but lost the return leg 2-0 on 30 September 1971 – 39 years to the day before their latest trip to the Romanian capital.

Match background
• Napoli have won two of their three European games this season as well as three of their last four continental fixtures on the road. Their most recent European defeat away was a 2-0 loss at SL Benfica which eliminated them from the 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round.

• Napoli are appearing in the group stage of a major UEFA competition for the first time.

• Steaua have reached this stage for the fourth time. They progressed to the knockout phases in the 2004/05 and 2005/06 UEFA Cups, but missed the cut last season.

• Steaua have won just one of their last four home games in Europe, beating Grasshopper-Club in this season's UEFA Europa League play-offs. They have scored just twice in their last four continental fixtures in Bucharest.

Team facts
• Steaua coach Ilie Dumitrescu resigned after just 40 days in charge in the wake of a 1-1 draw at home against FC Astra Ploieşti on 20 September.

• Marius Lăcătuş replaced him on Monday, saying: "When I receive such an offer from Steaua, I cannot refuse." The 46-year-old former Romania forward has coached the club twice before, and is Steaua's most successful player of all time, having won ten league titles, seven Romanian Cups, the European Champion Clubs' Cup and the UEFA Super Cup during two spells with the capital side.

• Lăcătuş knows a few things about Serie A having represented ACF Fiorentina in the 1990/91 season. He also played at Napoli's Stadio San Paolo with Romania in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, a 1-1 group phase draw against Argentina.

• A midfielder who spent most of his playing career outside Serie A, Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri worked his way up as a coach, making a major breakthrough by leading AS Livorno Calcio to promotion to the top division in 2003/04. Spells at Reggina Calcio and UC Sampdoria followed before he took the Napoli job in October 2009.

Last updated: 05/04/11 18.08CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000128/match=2002957/prematch/background/index.html#steaua+drought

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