Napoli travel to the Letzigrund Stadion in Switzerland to play Zurich in the Europa League for the first time in their history.
The Italian side were unlucky not to escape their Champions League group after losing out to eventual qualifiers Liverpool and PSG. They are now fully focused on the Europa League with a place in the last 16 at stake over the two legs.
Carlo Ancelotti's team are one of the favourites for the tournament and Zurich will have to deliver a strong performance before they visit Stadio San Paolo for the return leg in a week's time.
Here's a look at 90min's preview for the fixture.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 14 February|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (GMT)|
|Where Is It Played?||Letzigrund Stadion|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||BT Sport|
Zurich have a number of players on the sidelines following their winter break. These include Pa Modou Jagne, Novem Baumann, Michael Kempter, Izer Aliu, Fabian Rohner and Becir Omeragic.
Stephen Odey, who is Zurich's top scorer this season, is also doubtful after recently picking up a groin strain.
Napoli will be without Raul Albiol who will likely miss a large portion of the season after a knee injury.
Amin Younes remains doubtful with a recurring Achilles problem he suffered earlier in the season. Mario Rui is their last casualty after he picked up a knock in the most recent Serie A fixture against Fiorentina.
|Zurich||Brecher, Ruegg, Bangura, Maxso, Kryeziu, Khelifi, Palsson, Domgjoni, Kololli, Marchesano, Winter.|
|Napoli||Ospina, Ghoulam, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Hysaj, Callejon, Allan, Diawara, Zielinski, Insigne, Mertens.|
Head to Head Record
The two sides have never met before in any competitive, with this year's Europa League laying the foundation for their first fixture. Napoli have played against Swiss opponents in European competition six times, winning three times, drawing once and losing twice.
Napoli's three wins came against Young Boys, Wettingen and Grasshoppers, with all three victories coming at home at Stadio San Paolo.
However, their trips to Switzerland have been far less successful. Napoli have never won or even scored against Swiss opponents in Switzerland, with two losses and a scoreless draw on their permanent record.
Zurich, on the other hand, have won just twice in their ten European games against Italian opposition, with their victories coming against Milan and Empoli. They have drawn twice and lost the other six.
Zurich's football calendar this year only recently started after the Swiss Super League's lengthy winter break. The Swiss side have played just twice in 2019, losing to St. Gallen before recovering to win against local rivals Grasshoppers.
They have won just once in their last five games, with their last three Europa League group stage performances resulting in two losses and a draw.
Napoli comparatively have been busy over the Christmas and New Year period. Similarly to their hosts however, Gli Azzurri have been inconsistent at the start of this year and have won just twice in their last five.
Their most recent Champions League group game against Liverpool resulted in a loss, but the Italians were unbeaten in the other five group games. They sit second in Serie A, but are 11 points adrift of league leaders Juventus.
Here's a look at the two sides most recent fixtures.
|Zurich 3-1 Grasshoppers (09/02)||Fiorentina 0-0 Napoli (09/02)|
|St. Gallen 1-3 Zurich (06/02)||Napoli 3-0 Sampdoria (02/02)|
|Zurich 0-0 Lugano (16/12)||Milan 2-0 Napoli (29/01)|
|Ludogorets 1-1 Zurich (13/12)||Milan 0-0 Napoli (26/01)|
|Basel 2-0 Zurich (09/12)||Napoli 2-1 Lazio (20/01)|
With Napoli boasting far more experience at this level of European competition, Zurich will have to bring their A-game to the table. The Swiss side may be without their leading scorer, but Napoli's defence is slightly weakened due to some injuries to key defensive players.
With Zurich at home, they will have one mind on preventing any away goals, but an attack minded Napoli side will likely have too much firepower.