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Napoli eye early qualification at Beşiktaş' expense

History beckons for Napoli, who have two wins from two games and a four-point advantage in Group B, so Beşiktaş will be anticipating a tough night.

Napoli players have had plenty of reason to celebrate so far
Napoli players have had plenty of reason to celebrate so far ©AFP/Getty Images

SSC Napoli have maximum points from two games and can create a slice of history with a third win when they host a Beşiktaş JK side who have drawn both fixtures so far in Group B.

• It is the first time the teams have met in European competition.

Match background

• A Napoli win coupled with a draw between FC Dynamo Kyiv and SL Benfica would enable the Partenopei to become the first club ever to go through with three games still to play.

• Arkadiusz Milik scored two first-half headers on matchday one to help his side come from behind to beat ten-man FC Dynamo Kyiv 2-1 in Ukraine.

• The home game with SL Benfica then produced a superb attacking display by Maurizio Sarri's side as they led 4-0 by the 54th minute with Dries Mertens scoring twice at Stadio San Paolo. The visitors cut the deficit with two late goals.

• In 2013/14, Napoli's most recent UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, they won all three home matches – against Borussia Dortmund, Olympique de Marseille and Arsenal FC. Yet they failed to qualify for the knockout rounds despite collecting 12 points, more than any other side that has missed the qualification cut.

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

• In their only previous encounter with Turkish opponents, Napoli beat Trabzonspor AŞ 5-0 on aggregate in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 16. Manolo Gabbiadini was among the scorers in a 4-0 away first-leg win while Mertens missed a late penalty.

• Napoli are unbeaten in 18 European home games (W13 D5) since a 3-0 loss to FC Viktoria Plzeň in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32. They scored 16 goals in last season's four home games in the UEFA Europa League.

• A 1-1 draw at Benfica on matchday one came courtesy of a player from the Lisbon club as Talisca, loaned to Beşiktaş in August, struck a last-gasp equaliser.

• They were then involved in another 1-1 draw when Dynamo Kyiv pulled level on 65 minutes to cancel out Ricardo Quaresma's free-kick in the first half.

• Back in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2009/10, the Turkish Süper Lig champions are hoping to negotiate the group stage hurdle for the first time at the sixth attempt.

• Seven years ago they picked up four points in their away games in Group B, winning at Manchester United FC. Losing all their home fixtures meant they finished bottom of the section.

• Beşiktaş have not won in 11 meetings with Italian foes, drawing two and losing nine. Their last such fixture came in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage, when Parma FC beat them 3-2 at home.

Coach and player links
• Gökhan Inler played for and captained Napoli between 2011 and 2015, helping the Partenopei to win the Coppa Italia twice and the Italian Super Cup once.

• Inler played for Udinese Calcio for four seasons before that and on 17 April 2011 scored the opening goal in their 2-1 win over Napoli in Serie A.

• Ricardo Quaresma scored the second goal in FC Porto's 2-2 draw away to Beşiktaş in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 16 to earn a 3-2 aggregate win.

• Quaresma was at FC Internazionale Milano from 2008 to 2010, making 24 Serie A appearances.  

• Caner Erkin is on loan from Inter after joining the Nerazzurri this summer from Fenerbahçe SK.

• Şenol Güneş was in charge of Turkey for the 1-1 friendly draw with Italy in Pescara on 20 November 2002.

• Quaresma scored an extra-time winner as Portugal defeated Ivan Strinić's Croatia in the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 in Lens. Marko Rog was an unused substitute for Croatia.

• Marcelo scored in PSV Eindhoven's 3-0 home win against Napoli in the UEFA Europa League group stage on 4 October 2012. Atiba Hutchinson played 90 minutes for PSV.

• Played in same team:
Nikola Maksimović & Duško Tošić (FK Crvena zvezda, 2011/12 & Serbia)
Marcelo, Atiba Hutchinson & Mertens (PSV)

Match facts

• Pepe Reina will become only the ninth player to make 150 appearances in UEFA club competition if he features on matchday three. His games have come for FC Barcelona, Villarreal CF, Liverpool FC and Napoli.

• Napoli had won their last ten home matches, scoring 34 and conceding eight, before Saturday's 3-1 defeat by AS Roma.

• Napoli's eight-match unbeaten start to 2016/17 ended with a 1-0 defeat at Atalanta BC on 2 October.

• Milik, scorer of seven goals for Napoli this season, faces several months out after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on duty with Poland against Denmark on 8 October.

• José Callejón has five goals in eight Serie A appearances this term.

• Raúl Albiol and Vlad Chiricheș are both back in full training. Albiol suffered a thigh injury against Benfica while Chiricheș has not played since he sustained a knee problem while on international duty at the start of September.

• Dries Mertens scored as Belgium beat Gibraltar 6-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on 10 October.

• On 27 September, right-back Elseid Hysaj signed a new deal with Napoli running until 2021, with a further one-season option.

• Antonio Granata is serving a one-game ban.

• Beşiktaş are ten matches unbeaten in regulation time in 2016/17 (W4 D5), though they did lose the Turkish Super Cup 3-0 on penalties to Galatasaray AŞ in August.

• The Black Eagles have registered in each of their last 22 outings.

• Beşiktaş have kept just three clean sheets in ten games this season.

• Beşiktaş defeated fellow early season Turkish Super League leaders İstanbul Başakşehir in a friendly on 9 October, coming from behind to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Talisca and, two minutes after coming on as a substitute, Marcelo.

• Adriano and Atiba Hutchinson collected groin injuries against İstanbul Başakşehir, but both featured in Saturday's 1-0 win at Kayserispor. Hutchinson had requested to be excused from duty with Canada citing a busy club schedule.

• Duško Tošić recovered from flu to face Kayserispor. Oğuzhan Özyakup has been struggling to shake off an ankle injury, while goalkeeper Tolga Zengin has a finger problem.

• Vincent Aboubakar is still awaiting his first goal for the Black Eagles after seven competitive outings though he was on target for Cameroon on 5 October in a 1-1 friendly draw with Olympique de Marseille.

• Five of the eight goals conceded by Beşiktaş this season have come from set pieces.

• Ricardo Quaresma has made 49 appearances in the UEFA Champions League, scoring eight goals: 1/2 for Beşiktaş, 0/8 for FC Internazionale Milano, 7/39 for FC Porto.

• If Inler, who has had a toe injury, features against his former side on matchday three he will reach 50 appearances in UEFA club competition.