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Swansea size up Benítez's Napoli

Swansea City AFC's first springtime UEFA club competition fixture pits them against SSC Napoli, whose coach Rafael Benítez won last season's UEFA Europa League.

Swansea meet Napoli in the round of 32
Swansea meet Napoli in the round of 32 ©Getty Images

Swansea City AFC welcome SSC Napoli back to Wales for the first time in over 50 years as the two clubs battle for a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 16.

Previous meetings
• The sides are meeting for the first time in Europe in what is Swansea's first encounter with Italian opponents.

• Napoli's eight games against English league teams have ended W3 D2 L3 (W3 D1 L0 in Naples - W0 D1 L3 in England). They played Arsenal FC in this season's UEFA Champions League group stage, losing 2-0 in London but winning 2-0 at home on matchday six.

• Napoli have faced Welsh opponents before, though it took a 2-1 victory in a replay at Arsenal's old Highbury stadium for them to get the better of Bangor City FC in the 1962/63 European Cup Winners' Cup qualifying round; they had lost 2-0 in Bangor before recovering with a 3-1 success in Naples, in the days before the away goals rule came into force.

Match background
• Swansea are in the spring phase of a UEFA club competition for the first time; prior to this season, they had not played in Europe since the 1991/92 European Cup Winners' Cup, when they were beaten 10-1 on aggregate by AS Monaco FC in the first round. Back then, they qualified as Welsh Cup holders.

• This is also the Swans' longest continental campaign to date; this is their 11th UEFA game of the season, with their longest previous stint lasting six matches as they reached the second round of the 1982/83 European Cup Winners' Cup.

• Having started the group stage with back-to-back victories, Swansea are now without a win in four European games – D2 L2.

Team facts
• Napoli coach Rafael Benítez brought Swansea striker David Ngog to Anfield in 2008 during his time as Liverpool FC manager.

• Swansea defender Chico played in Italy with Genoa CFC (2010–12).

• Napoli's Raúl Albiol and Swansea's Pablo Hernández were team-mates at Valencia CF from 2004–07 and then again from 2008–09.

• Napoli's Blerim Dzemaili played in England for Bolton Wanderers FC (2007–08).

• Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina is well known in England following his long spell at Liverpool FC; Swansea's Jonjo Shelvey was one of Reina's Anfield team-mates. Reina has made 138 UEFA club competition appearances; more than any other player in the round of 32.

• Napoli midfielder Valon Behrami represented Swansea's Premier League rivals West Ham United FC from 2008–11.

• Ukraine and Italy are the most represented nations in the round of 32 with four teams each.

• Napoli are one of nine former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 32, along with Tottenham Hotspur FC (1972, 1984), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007), Eintracht Frankfurt (1980), Valencia CF (2004), FC Shakhtar Donetsk (2009), AFC Ajax (1992), FC Porto (2003, 2011) and final hosts Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993).

Coach information
• Swansea announced on 4 February that they had parted company with Danish coach Michael Laudrup, who last season led the south Wales club to the first major English trophy in their history – the 2012/13 League Cup.

• Laudrup has been replaced "for the forseeable future" by first-time coach Garry Monk, who oversaw a 3-0 win against local rivals Cardiff City FC in his first game in charge. Still registered as a defender with the club, the Englishman joined the Swans in 2004 after spells with Southampton FC and Barnsley FC among others, helping them make their way from the third tier to the Premier League.

• Napoli coach Rafael Benítez is well-known in England for leading Liverpool to 2004/05 UEFA Champions League glory, and then taking last season's UEFA Europa League crown at Chelsea. Having amounted to little as a player, Benítez first made his mark at Valencia, winning two Spanish titles and the 2003/04 UEFA Cup.

• Benítez is one of five coaches in the round of 32 to have led a side to victory in this competition before. FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk's Juande Ramos (Sevilla FC, 2006 & 2007), PAOK FC's Huub Stevens, who won it as a player (PSV Eindhoven, 1978) and a coach (FC Schalke 04, 1997), AZ Alkmaar boss Dick Advocaat (FC Zenit, 2008) and FC Shakhtar Donetsk's Mircea Lucescu (Shakhtar 2009) are the others.

• Should he steer Napoli to UEFA Europa League success, Benítez would be the third coach to win the competition in successive seasons, following in the footsteps of Luis Molowny (Real Madrid CF 1985 and 1986) and Ramos (Sevilla 2006 and 2007). He would also match Giovanni Trapattoni's record of three triumphs in the competition, and become the first coach to win the trophy with three clubs.

• Benítez met Swansea three times last season: Swansea eliminated Benítez's Chelsea in the League Cup semi-finals, prevailing 2-0 away and drawing 0-0 at home, but the Blues were 2-0 home winners in Benítez's only league encounter.

Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on the victors between FC Porto and Eintracht in the round of 16, playing the second leg at home.

• Swansea have never encountered either side in UEFA competition.

• Napoli have met both teams; they won 1-0 home and away against Porto in the 1974/75 UEFA Cup second round and lost 1-0 in both legs to Eintracht in the third round of the 1994/95 UEFA Cup.