By 90Min
December 06, 2017

Napoli's crunch Champions League tie takes them to Feyenoord on Wednesday night and for Dries Mertens the return to the Netherlands will be a stroll down memory lane for the Belgium forward, who spent his formative years at PSV and Utrecht. 

The Belgian travels with the Azzurri to Rotterdam for the final match of the Champions League group stage, which will determine his side's qualification for the knockout rounds. 

Speaking ahead of Napoli's key match against Feyenoord, Mertens recalled the time when, as a PSV player, he lost two teeth during the Netherlands Cup's final against Heracles Almelo in 2012 and insisted he would undergo the same fate if it meant victory on Wednesday.

"I would lose them over and over again if that could help Napoli win the match," he said.

"I have played in Feyenoord's stadium several times. They are a very different team when they play at home, defeating them will be hard."

Mertens has not scored in four games and is still liking wounds after Napoli's league defeat to Juventus last Friday.

"I haven't slept well in the past few days, but I fell empowered, we want to go back on track on Wednesday," he commented. "We need to forget about Juventus quickly. We were not used to losing and we now have to react if we want to continue on the right path."

His Belgium teammate Kevin De Bruyne will be in Ukraine on the same night as Manchester City take on Shakhtar Donetsk in a bid to top the group with six wins out of six matches. Their victory would be crucial for Napoli, whose hopes to continue in the Champions League are tied to Man City's result. 

Mertens commented: "I haven't heard from De Bruyne, but it's always beautiful when teams try to break records. We need to focus on our victory and then think about Man City's results." 

When you had a good day at work ⚽️⚽️(⚽️) #gennap

A post shared by Dries Mertens (@driesmertens) on

Napoli were handed just another injury blow as talisman Lorenzo Insigne has been sidelined due to a groin strain but should recover in time for the Azzurri's Serie A clash with Fiorentina.

"It is always hard to play without someone like him," Mertens told cameras, "But there are several other lads who are ready to take his place. It's time to show that we are a great group."

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