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Napoli v Villarreal background

Napoli need to make home advantage count as they resume their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie with Villarreal still smarting from a late goal in their 1-0 first-leg defeat.

Napoli's Marek Hamšík in action with Roberto Soldado of Villarreal
Napoli's Marek Hamšík in action with Roberto Soldado of Villarreal ©AFP/Getty Images

Villarreal CF will defend a narrow lead in Italy as they lock horns with SSC Napoli keen to continue their UEFA Europa League campaign into the last 16.

• Denis Suárez made the difference in the round of 32 first leg in Spain as his 82nd-minute free-kick clinched a 1-0 win for the hosts and ended Napoli's 100% record in the competition this term.

Previous meetings
• The sides have met on five occasions in UEFA competition, with both recording a pair of victories apiece.

• Juan Carlos Garrido's Villarreal defeated Walter Mazzarri's Napoli in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 32, drawing 0-0 in Naples then coming from behind to win 2-1 at home.

• With the same coaches in charge, Napoli got their revenge in the following season's UEFA Champions League group stage, beating the Yellow Submarine 2-0 home and away.

• Napoli's Marek Hamšík may be one to watch – he has scored in three of the clubs' five encounters.

• Napoli's 11 games against Spanish clubs have ended W4 D3 L4 (W2 D3 L0 at home). Those results include a 5-1 win at Valencia CF in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup first round – one of their two biggest European away victories.

• Napoli are the only Serie A side who have beaten Villarreal at El Madrigal. Villarreal's overall record in 17 meetings with Italian opposition is W7 D4 L6 (W0 D3 L5 in Italy).

Form guide
• Napoli are unbeaten in 16 European home games (W12 D4) since a shock 3-0 loss to FC Viktoria Plzeň in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32. They won all three of their home games in this season's group stage, scoring five goals in each.

• This season, Napoli became only the sixth club in the history of the UEFA Europa League to make it through the group stage with maximum points, after FC Salzburg (2009/10 & 2013/14), FC Zenit (2010/11), RSC Anderlecht (2011/12), Tottenham Hotspur FC (2013/14) and FC Dinamo Moskva (2014/15).

• Napoli were also this season's group stage top scorers with 22 goals – an average of 3.67 per game. The Partenopei also conceded the fewest goals – three – along with FC Schalke 04 and eliminated PAOK FC.

• Villarreal's away record in Europe this season is W1 D1 L1. They have scored in their last 11 continental away fixtures.

• Napoli reached the semi-finals last term, losing to eventual runners-up FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. They won the competition in 1988/89, beating VfB Stuttgart 5-4 on aggregate.

• Villarreal defeated Salzburg in the 2014/15 round of 32 before bowing out to holders Sevilla FC in the last 16. Their best campaigns in the competition ended in the semi-finals, where they were twice eliminated by eventual winners – Valencia in 2003/04 and FC Porto in 2010/11.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Villarreal to Naples is around 1,200km.

• This is Napoli's 100th UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League game.

• Napoli's Pepe Reina played at Villarreal from 2002 to 2005 after leaving FC Barcelona. He is ninth in the all-time UEFA club competition appearance rankings with 146 outings to his name. The only goalkeeper to have played more games than him is fellow Spaniard Iker Casillas (163).

• Villarreal centre-back Víctor Ruíz spent the second half of the 2010/11 season with Napoli. He played alongside Napoli's José Callejón at RCD Espanyol (2009–11).

• Aside from Reina and Callejón, Napoli have two other Spanish players: David López and Raúl Albiol, while Henrique (FC Barcelona 2008–12, Real Racing Club 2009–11) and Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid CF 2007–13) also have extensive Spanish Liga experience.

• Villarreal boast Italian talent in the form of defender Daniele Bonera (Brescia Calcio 1999–2002, Parma FC 2002–06, AC Milan 2006–15). He and Napoli's Gabriel were team-mates at Milan.

• Villarreal forward Roberto Soldado played alongside Napoli defender Vlad Chiricheş at Tottenham Hotspur FC (2013–15).

The coaches
• Naples-born Maurizio Sarri replaced Rafael Benítez when the Spaniard left Napoli for Real Madrid 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.

• Marcelino's career as a midfielder was ended early by injury. As a coach, he worked his way up the Spanish leagues, taking over at Villarreal in 2013 following spells at Real Zaragoza, Racing and Sevilla.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Napoli's record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
L 4-3 A v Toulouse FC (1986/87 UEFA Cup first round)
L 5-3 A v FC Spartak Moskva (1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup second round)
W 4-3 H v Sporting Clube de Portugal (1999/2000 UEFA Cup first round)

• Villlarreal won their only previous UEFA penalty shoot-out:
W 3-1 A v Club Atlético de Madrid (2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup finals)