Club Brugge v Napoli background

Club Brugge are still in with a chance of making it to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as they welcome a Napoli side who are already through to the knockout phase.

Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuaín shoulder to shoulder with Club Brugge's Boli Bolingoli Mbombo
Napoli forward Gonzalo Higuaín shoulder to shoulder with Club Brugge's Boli Bolingoli Mbombo ©Getty Images

Club Brugge KV will look to put their first meeting with SSC Napoli behind them knowing that a win will keep them in contention for a place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

• Club Brugge will be out if they fail to beat Napoli and FC Midtylland defeat Legia Warszawa.

• Napoli are confirmed as group winners.

Previous meetings
Napoli triumphed 5-0 when the sides met for the first time on matchday one – Club Brugge had never previously lost by a margin of more than one goal in Italy.

• They also overcame Midtjylland 5-0 on matchday four to become the first team to record two 5-0 wins in a UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Club Brugge's home record against Italian opposition is W3 D1 L4, with the draw and the four defeats coming in the most recent five of those contests.

• Napoli have lost both of their previous matches in Belgium, though the most recent of them was in October 1979.

Form guide
• Club Brugge's 1-0 win against Legia on matchday four was their first European victory since they defeated Panathinaikos FC 3-0 in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie on 5 August.

• With 16 goals scored in their first four matches, Napoli require five more to equal the UEFA Europa League group stage record of 21 set last season by FC Salzburg.

• Napoli and SK Rapid Wien are the only sides with 100% records going into matchday five. Only six teams have ever won all six group games in a UEFA Europa League season and in only one previous campaign have two clubs achieved the feat – 2013/14, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Salzburg.

• Both teams were eliminated by losing finalists FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in last season's UEFA Europa League; Club Brugge in the quarter-finals, Napoli in the semi-finals.

• Club Brugge have featured at this juncture of the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League eight times, qualifying on three occasions. Napoli made it through to the knockout phase in all three of their previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns.

Trivia and links
• The journey from Naples to Bruges is just over 1,400km.

• Napoli's José Callejon and Manolo Gabbiadini are among six players to have scored four goals in the first four matchdays along with Franco Di Santo (FC Schalke 04), Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) and Raúl Bobadilla (FC Augsburg).

• Gabbiadini turns 24 on the day of the Club Brugge game.

• Napoli boast Belgian talent in the form of winger Dries Mertens.

• Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina has made 145 UEFA club competition appearances – more than any other player in this season's edition. Only eight players have more European outings to their name.

• Club Brugge's Timmy Simons has made more outfield appearances than any other player in this season's group stage: 120.

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 season.

• A great goalkeeper in his time, Club Brugge coach Michel Preud'homme has carved out a fine career as a coach, winning titles in Belgium (with R. Standard de Liège) and Saudi Arabia (al-Shabab). Club Brugge coach since 2013, he guided them to Belgian Cup success last term.

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