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Porto and Napoli together again

Nearly 40 years after their last competitive meetings, FC Porto and SSC Napoli meet again in the round of 16 with the Portuguese side having won last summer's friendly fixture 3-1.

Porto celebrate
Porto celebrate ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Porto take on SSC Napoli in UEFA competition for the first time in nearly 40 years in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 – though the players came face to face in London as recently as last summer.

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the only time in the 1974/75 UEFA Cup second round, Luis Vinicio's Napoli winning 1-0 home and away against Aymoré Moreira's Porto.

• The teams in Porto on 6 November 1974 were:
Porto: Tibi, Alfredo Murça, Rolando, Gabriel, Carlos Simões, Adelino Teixeira, António Oliveira, Abel, António Lemos (Seninho 72), Cubillas, Vieira Nunes (Flávio Minuano 72).
Napoli: Carmignani, Landini, Orlandini, Burgnich, La Palma, Esposito, Massa, Juliano, Clerici, Jarbas, Braglia.

• The clubs also met in a friendly tournament in London last summer, Goran Pandev putting Napoli ahead (43) only for second-half goals from Nabil Ghilas (50) and Licá (78) either side of a Federico Fernández (68) own goal to give Porto a 3-1 win.

Match background
• Porto's record in 24 European encounters with Italian opponents is W6 D7 L11 (W3 D5 L3 at home)

• Napoli's eight games against Portuguese sides have ended W4 D3 L1 (W1 D2 L1 in Portugal). That lone defeat came in the most recent of those fixtures – a 2-0 loss at SL Benfica that ended Napoli's 2008/09 UEFA Cup campaign in the first round with a 4-3 aggregate reverse.

• Porto won their round of 32 tie against Eintracht Frankfurt on away goals following 2-2 and 3-3 draws, meaning they are now without a victory in seven European games (D4 L3) since beating FK Austria Wien 1-0 on matchday one of this season's UEFA Champions League.

• Porto have not won in four UEFA Europa League games since beating SC Braga 1-0 in the 2010/11 final in Dublin. They lost home and away against Manchester City FC in the 2011/12 round of 32.

• Napoli have made it to the round of 16 for the first time since the advent of the UEFA Cup group stage; they lost out to Villarreal CF in the 2011/12 round of 32 and then FC Viktoria Plzeň at the same stage last season 2012/13. This year they overcame Swansea City AFC 3-1 over two legs at that stage.

• Napoli bowed out of the UEFA Champions League despite picking up 12 points in Group F – the highest total of all the third-placed finishers this season. They have won all four of their European home games this season.

Team facts
• Spain and Italy are the best represented nations in the round of 16 with three clubs apiece.

• Napoli (1989) and Porto (2003, 2011) are among six former UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 16, along with Tottenham Hotspur FC (1972, 1984), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007), Valencia CF (2004) and final hosts Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993).

• Porto are one of five domestic champions still involved; FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland), Juventus (Italy), PFC Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria) and FC Viktoria Plzeň (Czech Republic) are the others.

Coach information
• Porto dismissed their coach Paulo Fonseca on 5 March following a run of four games without a win in all comptitions. B-team manager Luís Castro has been placed in command for the remainder of the season.

• Luís Castro was a defender, most notably for UD Leiria and Vitória SC, and had gained a degree in physics by the time he moved from the pitch into the dugout with RD Águeda. He led a number of smaller clubs before taking charge of FC Penafiel, leaving following their relegation from the Liga in 2006. After that, he was in charge of Porto's youth division for a number of years before returning to pitchside with their reserve team in 2013.

• 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 two coaches in the round of 16 to have won this competition before. AZ Alkmaar's Dick Advocaat (FC Zenit, 2008) is the other.

• 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 Juande 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's Liverpool got the better of Porto in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League group stage, drawing 1-1 in Portugal then winning the return fixture 4-1 at Anfield.