UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Arsenal aim to see off Napoli

Both victorious on matchday one, Arsenal FC's first home game in Group F brings them up against a SSC Napoli team who are facing English opponents for the fourth successive year.

Arsène Wenger has steered Arsenal through the group stage in 13 successive seasons
Arsène Wenger has steered Arsenal through the group stage in 13 successive seasons ©AFP/Getty Images

Arsenal FC's first home game in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League brings them up against a SSC Napoli team who are facing English opponents for the fourth successive year in European competition.

• Each opened Group F with a 2-1 win, Arsenal emerging victorious at Olympique de Marseille and Napoli holding off last year's runners-up Borussia Dortmund.

Previous meetings
• Although the teams are meeting for the first time, Napoli have a wealth of recent experience against English sides.

• Two seasons ago, in their first UEFA Champions League group campaign, they drew 1-1 away at Manchester City FC before a 2-1 home success. They advanced to the round of 16 where they appeared to have the measure of Chelsea FC, winning 3-1 at Stadio San Paolo.

• However the London club, under a new manager with Roberto Di Matteo having succeeded André Villas-Boas, hit back in the return, winning 4-1 after extra time to go through. Gökhan Inler got Napoli's goal.

• The Italian side also lost 3-1 at Liverpool FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Arsenal have frustrating memories of their last contest with a Serie A side. Facing AC Milan in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League round of 16, they looked out of it after losing 4-0 away but responded in style in the return. Laurent Koscielny and Tomáš Rosický scored inside the first 30 minutes, but the eventual 3-0 win was not enough.

• It was the Gunners' fourth victory in their last five home games against Italian teams without conceding; the other game ended goalless.

• In 14 home games against Italian opponents Arsenal have won eight and lost two; the most recent reverse came against FC Internazionale Milano, who triumphed 3-0 in the 2003/04 group stage, before Arsenal embarked on that current run of four wins in five games. 

Match background
• Arsène Wenger's team, who finished fourth in the 2012/13 Premier League, are in the group stage for the 16th season in a row. For the sixth time in eight campaigns they had to negotiate a qualifying round, dispatching Fenerbahçe SK 5-0 on aggregate in the play-offs with Aaron Ramsey scoring three times.

• Last year Arsenal departed in the round of 16 for the third season in row, losing 3-1 at home to FC Bayern München and then bowing out on away goals despite a 2-0 success in Munich. It was the 13th successive time that they had made it through the group.

• After Inter's 2003 victory, the Gunners remained unbeaten in home matches against non-English opposition for nine years and were 16 European games undefeated against all-comers in north London until FC Schalke 04 won 2-0 in last season's group stage, becoming the first foreign visitors to win at the Arsenal Stadium.

• Napoli struggled on their travels in last season's UEFA Europa League; in the group they lost 3-0 at PSV Eindhoven and 3-1 at FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk before a 2-1 win at AIK. Their hopes ended in the round of 32 when FC Viktoria Plzeň won 3-0 in Naples en route to a 5-0 aggregate triumph.

Team ties
• Rafael Benítez guided Liverpool FC to a 5-3 aggregate win over Arsenal in the 2007/08 quarter-finals, drawing 1-1 away before a 4-2 home win.

• Benítez never managed to win at the Arsenal Stadium in his six seasons in charge at Anfield. His record overall was W4 D5 L8 and in London W0 D3 L5.

• As Chelsea's interim manager last season, Benítez masterminded a 2-1 home win over Arsenal in the Premier League.

• Pepe Reina was in the Liverpool team that won 2-0 at the Arsenal Stadium in the 2011/12 Premier League; he also played in both UEFA Champions League matches against the Gunners. His overall record against Arsenal for Liverpool is W3 D8 L6.

• Before joining Liverpool in 2005, Reina was a team-mate of Santiago Cazorla at Villarreal CF. They are also team-mates with Spain.

• Cazorla, Reina and Raúl Albiol were part of the Spain which triumphed at UEFA EURO 2008 and UEFA EURO 2012.

• Emiliano Viviano played alongside Miguel Ángel Britos at Bologna FC between 2009 and 2011.

• Nicklas Bendtner played in Serie A with Juventus last season, appearing nine times and failing to score. Mathieu Flamini made 96 Serie A appearances for AC Milan between 2008 and 2013.

• Mesut Özil was a team-mate of Gonzalo Higuaín, José María Callejón and  Albiol at Real Madrid CF.

• Thomas Vermaelen and Dries Mertens play together for Belgium.

• Valon Behrami was at West Ham United FC between 2008 and 2011.

• Blerim Džemaili spent 2007/08 at Bolton Wanderers FC but never played in the Premier League because of a serious knee injury. 

Selected for you