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Drama guaranteed as Napoli and Arsenal face off

SSC Napoli and Arsenal FC meet with both qualifying places still to be decided in Group F, with both potentially vulnerable to a Borussia Dortmund victory in Marseille.

Napoli will be trying to score at least three times against Arsenal
Napoli will be trying to score at least three times against Arsenal ©Getty Images

SSC Napoli and Arsenal FC, separated by three points, are both firmly in the qualifying equation as Group F reaches its dramatic denouement, although Borussia Dortmund's fixture at Olympique de Marseille will also be closely followed by supporters inside the Stadio San Paolo.

• Napoli and Dortmund both have nine points, three adrift of Arsenal, who only need a draw to be certain of going through. Napoli could draw and go through, but that would need Dortmund to lose at a Marseille side who are still seeking their first points in the section.

• The game at the Arsenal Stadium on 1 October ended in a comfortable 2-0 home win with Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud scoring in the first 15 minutes.
It was the Gunners' second successive victory after starting with a 2-1 success at OM; their other away game, at Dortmund, finished in a 1-0 victory.

• Napoli have won both home games, having begun with a 2-1 victory against Dortmund and beaten Marseille 3-2 on matchday four.

Previous meetings
• The 1 October contest was the first between the sides, though they both have plenty of recent experience of facing teams from their rivals' domestic league.

• Two seasons ago, in their first UEFA Champions League campaign, Napoli beat Manchester City FC 2-1 at home after a 1-1 draw away. They advanced to the round of 16, where they beat Chelsea FC 3-1 at the Stadio San Paolo in the first leg. However, they lost 4-1 after extra time at Stamford Bridge, Gökhan Inler scoring Napoli's goal.

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

• Arsenal's last visit to a Serie A side ended in a 4-0 reverse at AC Milan in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League round of 16. They responded in style in the return, Laurent Koscielny and Tomáš Rosický scoring inside the first 30 minutes, but the eventual 3-0 win was not enough.

• In four of Arsenal's last seven visits to Italy they have come out on top, with only two defeats in that time. In 30 games against Italian clubs their record is: W15 D8 L7 (W5 D4 L5 away).

• The Gunners beat Parma FC 1-0 in the 1994 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in Copenhagen.

Match background
• Since returning to European competition in 2008 after an absence of 13 years, Napoli had established a formidable home record and went unbeaten in 14 matches before PSV Eindhoven won 3-1 at the Stadio San Paolo in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage. It was the Serie A side's first home loss since a December 1994 defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Cup third round.

• FC Viktoria Plzeň were also victorious in Naples last season, winning 3-0 in the round of 32 en route to a 5-0 aggregate triumph.

• Arsenal are in the group stage for the 16th season in a row and have qualified for the second phase 13 years in succession. If they win the group it will be the tenth time they have done so in that time. 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 Ramsey scoring three times.

• The Gunners' three away wins in this season's competition mean they have lost only one of their last seven away games, with five victories.

Team ties
• Rafael Benítez guided Liverpool FC to a 5-3 aggregate win against 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; in London, W0 D3 L5.

• As Chelsea's interim manager last season, Benítez oversaw 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 squad who 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.

• 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.