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Napoli start anew with Dynamo challenge

Napoli kick off only their third UEFA Champions League campaign with a first ever competitive fixture against Dynamo Kyiv as Group B gets under way.

Serhiy Rebrov will be hoping Dynamo make it to the knockout rounds again this season
Serhiy Rebrov will be hoping Dynamo make it to the knockout rounds again this season ©Getty Images

SSC Napoli start only their third UEFA Champions League campaign with a first ever competitive fixture against FC Dynamo Kyiv.

Match background

• The Ukraine champions embark on their 16th group stage campaign hoping to at least emulate last season's run to the last 16, the first time they had reached that stage since 1999/2000.

• They went out to Manchester City FC, losing 3-1 at home and by the same aggregate score after a goalless second leg. That first leg was their first reverse in ten European home games, a run dating back to February 2014.

• Returning to the group stage after a two-year absence, Dynamo began last season's Group G campaign with a 2-2 home draw against FC Porto. Their other home games resulted in a 0-0 draw with Chelsea FC and a 1-0 win against Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC which sent them through to the knockout rounds.

• Before last season the Kyiv club had won only four of their 31 previous group stage fixtures. An improved campaign helped them add another three wins to that total.

• Dynamo went out to ACF Fiorentina in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, drawing 1-1 at home before losing 2-0 away.

• They have won just twice in 20 encounters with Italian clubs (D6 L12), both victories coming against AS Roma in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage. The game in Rome was a 3-0 forfeit success as the match was abandoned after referee Anders Frisk was hit by an object thrown from the crowd. Dynamo won the return 2-0 in Ukraine.

• In their last UEFA Champions League appearance, in 2013/14, the Serie A runners-up won at Olympique de Marseille but lost at Arsenal FC and Borussia Dortmund and failed to get out of the group despite collecting 12 points – more than any other side who has failed to get through.

• In 2011/12, Napoli's first UEFA Champions League foray, they reached the round of 16 where they bowed out to Chelsea, a 3-1 home win overturned in a 4-1 extra-time defeat in London.

• Napoli's only previous opponents from Ukraine were FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. The sides met in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League semi-final when a 1-1 draw in Naples was followed by a 1-0 defeat in Ukraine.

• The teams also met in the group stage of the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League. Napoli lost 3-1 away, Walter Mazzarri's men turning the tables with a 4-2 success in the return.

Coach and player links
• Antunes was at AS Roma from 2007 to 2011 but made only five Serie A appearances, all in his first season, and had loan spells at US Lecce (2008/09) and AS Livorno Calcio (2010/11).

• Ivan Strinić played in Ukraine with Dnipro from 2011 to 2015 and was a team-mate of Olexandr Gladkiy in 2011/12.

• Júnior Moraes and Rafael were team-mates in the Santos youth system in Brazil.

• Domagoj Vida plays with Marko Rog and Strinić for Croatia.

Match facts

Dynamo Kyiv 
• Dynamo have won six of their eight matches in all competitions this season, including a shoot-out win against FC Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Super Cup.

• Dynamo's sole loss came at home to FC Vorskla Poltava on 27 August. It is the only time since April 2014 that the capital club have suffered a league defeat against a side other than Shakhtar, who held them 1-1 on Friday.

• Domagoj Vida scored in Dynamo's first two games of 2016/17 (both in the 79th minute), already equalling his goals tally for the whole of last season.

Highlights: Ukraine 1-1 Iceland
Highlights: Ukraine 1-1 Iceland

• Andriy Yarmolenko scored Ukraine's goal in a 1-1 home draw against Iceland on 5 September in FIFA World Cup qualifying. Serhiy Sydorchuk also started that game.

• Vida (Croatia 1-1 Turkey) and Nikita Korzun (Belarus 0-0 France) were also in qualifying action last week.

• Yevhen Khacheridi (knee, out since July) and Serhiy Rybalka (thigh, August) both returned from injury at Shakhtar on Friday.

• Danilo Silva is set to make his 50th outing in UEFA club competition.

• Júnior Moraes struck a hat-trick – the first time he had scored more than one in a game for Dynamo – in the 5-1 win against Oleksandriya on the opening day of the league season.

• Napoli have won just three of their last ten games on their travels; they are 11 matches unbeaten at home.

• Dries Mertens scored twice within ten minutes after coming in as a second-half substitute as Napoli came from 2-0 down to start the new Serie A season with a draw at promoted Pescara Calcio.

Off the mark: Arkadiusz Milik
Off the mark: Arkadiusz Milik©AFP/Getty Images

• Summer signing Arkadiusz Milik and José María Callejón also scored two apiece as Napoli defeated nine-man AC Milan 4-2 in their second outing.

• Callejón added two more in the 3-0 win at US Città di Palermo on Saturday.

• Napoli scored five goals more than champions Juventus last season but lost Serie A top-scorer Gonzalo Higuaín – who netted 36 of Napoli's 80 goals last term – to the Bianconeri in the summer.

• Summer signing Lorenzo Tonelli is yet to make his debut because of an inflamed knee tendon. Vlad Chiricheș, another defender, suffered a knee injury on international duty with Romania last week.

• Captain Marek Hamšík signed a new deal running until 2020 in August. The midfielder joined Napoli in 2007, and is third in the list of appearances for the club (406) and fifth in the all-time scoring chart with 99 goals, 16 shy of leader Diego Maradona.

• Milik hit the bar and post in Poland's 2-2 draw at Kazakhstan in FIFA World Cup qualifying on 4 September. Piotr Zieliński also played 90 minutes.

• Other Napoli players on international duty included Hamšík (Slovakia 0-1 England), Elseid Hysaj (Albania 2-1 FYR Macedonia), Faouzi Ghoulam (Algeria 6-0 Lesotho) and Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal 2-0 Namibia).

• Should he play, Christian Maggio will register his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition.

• Napoli have not lost a home game in Serie A since 31 May 2015 (4-2 v SS Lazio) and earned a club record 51 points at home last term (16 wins, three draws).