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.
Article top media content
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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.