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Villarreal and Napoli resume battle

Villarreal CF will hope to make their decent home record against Italian clubs count when they welcome SSC Napoli for the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie.

Villarreal won Group D during the autumn
Villarreal won Group D during the autumn ©Getty Images

Villarreal CF will hope to make their decent home record against Italian clubs count when they welcome SSC Napoli for the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie, with the scores level at 0-0.

• Salvatore Aronica's dismissal late on was perhaps the most significant moment of the first leg, which proved to be a cautious affair. Napoli now have the worst disciplinary record of any of the sides in the round of 32, with two red cards and 27 yellows since the start of the group stage.

Previous meetings
• This tie is the teams' first meeting in UEFA club competition.

• Napoli are unbeaten in their last four games against Spanish sides since losing 2-0 at Real Madrid CF in the 1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round.

• The first-leg result means Napoli have still never lost at home against a Spanish side, with their three fixtures comprising two draws and a win.

• Napoli took on Villarreal's near neighbours Valencia CF in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round, with Uruguayan striker Daniel Fonseca having good reason to remember the tie with fondness; he scored all five of Napoli's goals in a 5-1 first-leg win in Spain, and his team's only goal as they won the return fixture 1-0.

• Villarreal's 13 games against Serie A outfits have ended W5 D4 L4. They have never lost a home game against an Italian side, winning five out of six contests, but have yet to triumph in Italy, where their record reads W0 D3 L4.

Match background
• Villarreal have won all four of their European home games this season, scoring 11 goals and conceding just once at El Madrigal. They have lost just once in their last 18 home ties in continental competition, going down 1-0 to FC Salzburg in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Napoli have not won in three European away games since beating IF Elfsborg 2-0 in the play-offs. More worryingly, they have conceded three goals in their last three games on their travels, though two of those matches ended in 3-3 draws.

• Napoli have now yet to concede in five European home games this season, though they have hardly been prolific at the Stadio San Paolo. They have scored just twice, earning two 1-0 wins and three 0-0 draws.

• Villarreal have played in the last three European springs, though two of those campaigns ended in the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• Napoli have not played a springtime UEFA club competition tie since they won the 1988/89 UEFA Cup, beating VfB Stuttgart 5-4 on aggregate in the final.

Team facts
• Napoli are the only Serie A side left in the UEFA Europa League, with Juventus, US Città di Palermo and UC Sampdoria all bowing out in the group stage.

• This deciding leg will be Villarreal's 100th game in UEFA club competition.

• FC Porto's Falcao remains the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League's top scorer with seven goals since the start of the group stage, with PFC CSKA Moskva's Tomáš Necid his nearest rival on six goals. Sevilla FC's Frédéric Kanouté and KKS Lech Poznań's Artjoms Rudņevs joined former AC Sparta Praha striker Wilfried Bony, Giuseppi Rossi of Villarreal, FC Dynamo Kyiv's Artem Milevskiy and Napoli's Edinson Cavani on five goals with strikes in the first legs of the round of 32 ties.

• Cavani has had more shots on goal than any player in this season's UEFA Europa League with 16, but Rossi is just two efforts behind him on 14.

• Villarreal striker Rossi is an Italian international, and has played in Serie A with Parma FC.

• Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis (Sevilla FC 2007/08) and forward Cristiano Lucarelli (Valencia CF 1998/99) both have experience of Spanish football.

• Napoli midfielder Michele Pazienza was a member of the ACF Fiorentina side that drew 1-1 at Villarreal in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.

• In Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri's only previous encounter with Spanish opposition before the first leg, his Sampdoria side beat Sevilla 1-0 at home in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage.

• Napoli's Emilson Cribari played in the 2-1 win against Villarreal for S.S. Lazio in last season's group stage.

• This tie is Villarreal coach Juan Carlos Garrido's first experience of Italian opposition.

• The overall winners will take on the victors in the tie between FC Metalist Kharkiv and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the round of 16 on 10 and 17 March, playing the first leg away from home.

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