Napoli v Genk facts

Held 0-0 in Belgium on Matchday 2, Napoli will qualify for the round of 16 if they can find a way past Genk in Italy.

Genk's Théo Bongonda (left) battles with Allan of Napoli on Matchday 2
Genk's Théo Bongonda (left) battles with Allan of Napoli on Matchday 2 ©AFP/Getty Images

Napoli take on Genk at the Stadio San Paolo needing a point to make sure of progress from UEFA Champions League Group E.

• The Italian club – who were held 0-0 in Belgium on Matchday 2 in what was the sides' first meeting – enter Matchday 6 undefeated and second in the section on nine points, one behind Liverpool and two ahead of third-placed Salzburg. Napoli will therefore go through if they avoid defeat, or if Salzburg do not beat Liverpool in Austria.

• Genk, whose only point came from that draw against Napoli, will finish fourth.

Highlights: Genk 0-0 Napoli
Highlights: Genk 0-0 Napoli

Form guide
Napoli
• Napoli have picked up four points from their two home games in this season's UEFA Champions League, kicking off with a 2-0 defeat of holders Liverpool before being held 1-1 by Salzburg on Matchday 4. Away from home, after the draw at Genk, they won 3-2 at Salzburg and drew 1-1 at Liverpool last time out.

• Serie A runners-up for the second season running in 2018/19, Napoli are in the group stage for the sixth time – all in the last nine seasons. They reached the round of 16 in 2011/12 and 2016/17 but have finished third in their section in the other three campaigns.

• Napoli have won only six of their last 19 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D6 L7) – all those victories bar the Matchday 3 success at Salzburg coming at the Stadio San Paolo.

Highlights: Liverpool 1-1 Napoli
Highlights: Liverpool 1-1 Napoli

• Having finished third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool in last season's group stage, Napoli kicked off their UEFA Europa League campaign with a comfortable 5-1 aggregate win against Zürich before edging out Salzburg 4-3 over two legs in the round of 16. They were then eliminated from a second European competition of the season by an English club, however, losing 2-0 away to Arsenal and 1-0 at home in the quarter-finals.

• The Partenopei picked up seven of their nine points in last season's group stage in Naples. Napoli have, however, won only five of their last 11 home games in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final; they have lost three in that sequence.

• Napoli have won two of their three home European games against Belgian clubs (D1), most recently a 5-0 defeat of Club Brugge in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Highlights: Genk 1-4 Salzburg
Highlights: Genk 1-4 Salzburg

Genk
• Genk kicked off with a 6-2 Matchday 1 defeat at Salzburg, their heaviest loss in continental competition since they were beaten 7-0 at Valencia in the UEFA Champions League group stage in November 2011 – their biggest European defeat. After holding Napoli, they went down home (1-4) and away (1-2) against holders Liverpool to confirm their elimination and suffered a 4-1 home loss against Salzburg in their most recent fixture.

• Genk have conceded 20 goals in their last six European fixtures, scoring six.

• Belgian champions for the fourth time in 2018/19, Genk qualified automatically for the UEFA Champions League group stage this season for the first time, their previous appearances, in 2002/03 and 2011/12, having both involved at least one qualifying tie.

• The Belgian club are still awaiting their first victory in the UEFA Champions League proper. In 2002/03 they drew four of their six matches but still finished bottom of a section involving Real Madrid, Roma and AEK Athens; eight years later, they drew all three home games but lost all their away matches in a section also including Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen and Valencia.

Highlights: Liverpool 2-1 Genk
Highlights: Liverpool 2-1 Genk

• Genk have lost their last six UEFA Champions League away matches, qualifying included, going down at Chelsea (0-5), Valencia (0-7), Salzburg (2-6) and Liverpool (1-2) in the four most recent. A 1-0 success at Sarajevo in the 2007/08 second qualifying round second leg – a tie they lost on away goals having gone down 2-1 at home – is their sole away win in the competition (D3 L9), with ten goals scored and 41 conceded.

• Genk have played more UEFA Champions League group stage matches without a win (17) than any other participating team.

• In 2018/19 Genk won all six qualifying matches to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage – scoring 22 goals in the process – where they finished ahead of Malmö, Beşiktaş and Sarpsborg. Slavia Praha proved too strong in the round of 32, however, the Czech club winning 4-1 at the KRC Genk Arena after a goalless draw in Prague.

• Genk have won six of their last 13 European games on the road, losing only four.

• Genk have scored at least once in 33 of their last 35 European matches, the exceptions the first leg against Slavia last season and against Napoli on Matchday 2.

• The Belgian side are unbeaten in their two previous trips to Italy, drawing 0-0 at Roma in October 2002 in the UEFA Champions League first group stage before a 2-0 win at Sassuolo in the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League group stage in which Bryan Heynen scored the first goal.

Highlights: Napoli 1-1 Salzburg
Highlights: Napoli 1-1 Salzburg

Links and trivia
• Kalidou Koulibaly joined Napoli from Genk in 2014 having made 64 league appearances for the Belgian side over two seasons and won the 2012/13 Belgian Cup.

• Napoli's Belgian forward Dries Mertens was in the youth ranks at Stade Leuven, Anderlecht and Gent in his homeland, making his senior debut during a loan spell at third division side Eendracht Aalst in 2005/06 before moving abroad the following summer.

• Ianis Hagi played two Serie A games for Fiorentina in 2016/17.

• International team-mates:
David Ospina & Jhon Lucumí (Colombia)

Latest news

Napoli
• Dries Mertens' goal at Liverpool on Matchday 4 took him on to 117 for Napoli, two ahead of Diego Maradona in the club's all-time charts and four shy of record holder Marek Hamšík.

• After drawing at Liverpool, Napoli went down 2-1 at home to Bologna on 1 December. Saturday's 1-1 draw at Udinese made it nine games without a win in all competitions (D7 L2).

• The Naples club have not recorded a Serie A victory since a 2-0 home defeat of Verona on 19 October; their record since is D5 L2. It is their longest run without a league victory since March 2010.

• José Callejón made his 322nd appearance in all competitions for Napoli at Udinese, moving level with Ciro Ferrara in fifth place on the all-time list. Lorenzo Insigne played in his 247th Serie A game for the club at the weekend, joining Ferrera in joint sixth place overall.

• Arkadiusz Milik has scored five of Napoli's last nine Serie A goals despite not playing since Matchday 3 on 5 November due to a stomach muscle injury.

• Kévin Malcuit has undergone surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is expected to be out for six months.

• Faouzi Ghoulam has not played since suffering a thigh injury on 6 October.

• Allan has been sidelined by a rib injury since Matchday 4; a knee problem previously kept him out between 30 October and 23 November.

• Kalidou Koulibaly was Napoli's only representative in the team of the 2018/19 Serie A season at the Gran Gala del Calcio on 2 December.

Genk
• Genk were without a win in eight games in all competitions (D3 L5) before Saturday's 2-1 league success at Cercle Brugge. That was only their third victory in their last 15 matches (D5 L7).

• Genk had conceded two or more goals in each of their previous eight matches in all competitions, 19 goals in all. They have not kept a clean sheet in nine games.

• They were beaten 4-3 on penalties at Antwerp in the last 16 of the Belgian Cup on 3 December after the game had finished 3-3 after extra time.

• New coach Hannes Wolf got his first win in charge of Genk at Cercle Brugge having previously overseen two draws and two defeats since replacing Felice Mazzù on 19 November.

• Genk have won only two of their last eight league matches (D2 L4): Saturday's victory at Cercle Brugge and the 1-0 home win against the same opponents on 26 October. They were beaten 2-1 at home by local rivals Sint-Truiden on 30 November.

• Genk lost two of their first three league games this season, having been unbeaten for their first 15 matches in 2018/19 and not suffered a second defeat until the 23rd round of fixtures. They have now lost seven league matches in 2019/20, two more than the whole of last season.

• They have 25 points after 18 matches – 14 less than at the same stage of 2018/19.

• Genk kicked off the new season with a 3-0 win against Mechelen in the Belgian Super Cup on 20 July. It was the second time they had claimed the trophy, and the first since 2011, in their eighth appearance.

• Bryan Heynen tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a 2-2 draw at Mouscron on 23 November and is not expected to play again this season.

• First-choice goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has not played since 26 July due to a ruptured Achilles tendon and has not been included in the UEFA Champions League squad.

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