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Napoli v Midtjylland background

The top scorers in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, Napoli will be certain of a place in the round of 32 if they defeat visitors Midtjylland again.

Napoli dressing room ahead of matchday three
Napoli dressing room ahead of matchday three ©Getty Images

SSC Napoli won 4-1 at FC Midtjylland on matchday three and will look to confirm their UEFA Europa League round of 32 place as the Danish champions fly south.

Previous meetings
• Midtjylland's maiden encounter with Italian opponents ended in one of their heaviest home defeats in European competition, Napoli prevailing 4-1. It was Napoli's first game against a Danish side.

• Of the 39 UEFA club competition games between sides from these nations, Danish teams have won three to the Italian sides' 26; it is 18 matches (D7 L11) since the last Danish victory – FC København's 2-1 success at home to SS Lazio in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

Form guide
• If Napoli win they are through, and they will progress regardless if Club Brugge KV hold Legia Warszawa in the other Group D contest.

• If Midtjylland win, and Brugge v Legia ends in a draw, the Danish champions and Napoli will be certain of a round of 32 place.

• Napoli, SK Rapid Wien and SC Braga are the only teams to have won all three of their games going into matchday four.

• Napoli are the top scorers in this season's group stage with 11 goals – an average of 3.67 per game.

• Napoli and PAOK FC have conceded just once, giving them the group stage's tightest defences. R. Standard de Liège, in 2011/12, are the only side to have made it to the end of a UEFA Europa League group stage with just one goal conceded.

• Napoli made it through to the knockout stage in all three of their previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

• This is Midtjylland's first UEFA group stage tilt.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Herning to Naples is around 1,750km.

• Midtjylland defender Jim Larsen turns 30 the day after the game.

• Midtjylland defender Francis Dickoh and Napoli winger Dries Mertens were team-mates at FC Utrecht in 2009/10.

• Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina has made 144 UEFA club competition outings – more than any other player in this season's tournament. He is ninth, alongside Roberto Carlos, on the all-time club appearance leaderboard.

• Midtjylland are one of ten sides in the group stage who qualified for Europe this season as domestic champions, along with KF Skënderbeu (Albania), Qarabağ FK (Azerbaijan), APOEL FC (Cyprus), FC Viktoria Plzeň (Czech Republic), KKS Lech Poznań (Poland), FK Partizan (Serbia), Celtic FC (Scotland), Molde FK (Norway) and FC Basel 1893 (Switzerland).

• Midtjylland (literally: central Jutland) were formed in 1999 with the merger of Ikast fS and Herning Fremad BK.

The coaches
• Naples-born Maurizio Sarri replaced Rafael Benítez when the Spaniard left Napoli for Real Madrid CF at the end of last season. Having spent much of his career in the lower leagues, he led Empoli FC into Serie A in 2013/14 and kept them up comfortably last term.

• Midtjylland boss Jess Thorup played in Germany and Austria as a forward. He made his name as a coach at Esbjerg fB, where he won a Danish Cup before taking Denmark to the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship semi-finals. Midtjylland hired him this summer.

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