ŠK Slovan Bratislava had a tough start in UEFA Europa League Group I, and things will not get easier as SSC Napoli captain Marek Hamšík returns to face his first club.
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SSC Napoli captain Marek Hamšík can expect a warm welcome as he returns to ŠK Slovan Bratislava in UEFA Europa League Group I, having started his career with the club.
• Slovan have won three of their four home games against Serie A opponents.
• Slovan's 5-0 loss at BSC Young Boys matched their worst previous result in this competition, a 5-0 defeat by AFC Ajax in the 2009/10 play-offs.
• Slovan are unbeaten in five European home games (W3 D2); Napoli are without a win in four continental away fixtures (D1 L3).
Trivia and links
• Hamšík started his career with Slovan, leaving the club at the age of 17 to join Brescia Calcio before moving on to his current side in 2007.
• Slovan midfielder Richard Lásik has played in Italy with Brescia, scoring one goal in 43 Serie B games between 2012 and 2014.
• Slovan's Róbert Vittek struck a goal in each half against an Italy side featuring Napoli's Christian Maggio as Slovakia eliminated the Azzurri with a 3-2 defeat in the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals group stage.
• Slovan are the only Slovakian side to have won a major European trophy – the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1968/69 – and seven of their players featured in Czechoslovakia's victorious 1976 UEFA European Championship squad.
• Slovan's only previous group stage campaign was in 2011/12, when they picked up just one point from six games.
• Slovan coach František Straka spent the best years of his playing career with AC Sparta Praha and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, picking up 35 caps for Czechoslovakia along the way. The former defender's coaching adventures include spells in Austria, Greece, Australia and Poland, as well as a one-match stint as Czech national team boss.
• Napoli coach since May 2013, Rafael Benítez won two Spanish titles and the 2003/04 UEFA Cup with Valencia CF, the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League with Liverpool FC and the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League with Chelsea FC. The Spaniard lifted the Coppa Italia in his first Napoli campaign.