SSC Napoli will bid to leapfrog FC Steaua Bucureşti into the UEFA Europa League round of 32 with one of the two sides certain to end up disappointed after their final Group K tie.
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SSC Napoli will bid to leapfrog FC Steaua Bucureşti into the UEFA Europa League round of 32 with one of the two sides certain to end up disappointed in their final Group K tie.
• Liverpool FC are sure to finish top of the section, and FC Utrecht can no longer qualify, leaving Napoli and Steaua to fight for second place. The Italian side know that anything but a victory will spell elimination.
• Steaua took a 3-0 lead in the first 16 minutes as the sides met for the first time on Matchday 2, but following Pantelis Kapetanos's first-half dismissal, Napoli fought back to draw 3-3, with Edinson Cavani levelling eight minutes into second-half added time.
• That draw came on the 39th anniversary of Napoli's last game against Romanian opposition, a 2-0 loss against FC Rapid Bucureşti in the first round of the inaugural UEFA Cup, in 1971/72. They won the first leg of 1-0, with their full record against Romanian opposition now reading W1 D1 L1.
• Steaua scored their first goals in 12 games against Italian sides during that Matchday 1 draw, though they still await their first win. Their record to date reads W0 D5 L7 (W0 D2 L4 in Italy, with the last two ending in goalless draws). Steaua lost 4-0 against AC Milan in the 1989 European Champion Clubs' Cup final in Barcelona.
• Napoli are unbeaten in their last six European home games since a 1-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Cup third round on 7 December 1994. However, a run of four straight wins at the San Paolo Stadium has ended, with the club drawing their two Group K home ties 0-0.
• Napoli have scored just once in their three European home games this season.
• Steaua are without a win in six European away games (three draws and three defeats) since a 2-1 UEFA Europa League play-off victory against Saint Patrick's Athletic FC in Dublin on 27 August 2009.
• Steaua have yet to win in nine UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage away games. They have gone 13 games since their last victory on their travels in a UEFA club competition group stage, a 4-1 triumph at FC Dynamo Kyiv in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League.
• A midfielder who spent most of his playing career outside Serie A, Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri worked his way up as a coach, making a major breakthrough by leading AS Livorno Calcio to promotion to the top division in 2003/04. Spells at Reggina Calcio and UC Sampdoria followed before he took the Napoli job in October 2009.
• Marius Lăcătuş is in his third stint as Steaua coach, having replaced Ilie Dumitrescu on 26 September. The 46-year-old former Romania forward is the club's most successful player, having won ten league titles, seven Romanian Cups, the European Champion Clubs' Cup and the UEFA Super Cup during two spells with the capital side.
• Lăcătuş knows a few things about Serie A having represented ACF Fiorentina in the 1990/91 season. He also played at Napoli's Stadio San Paolo with Romania in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, a 1-1 group phase draw against Argentina.