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Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, OGC Nice will need to maintain their fine European home record if they are to stop SSC Napoli from reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Previous meetings
• Dries Mertens opened the scoring in Naples, with Jorginho adding a penalty 20 minutes from time.

• The clubs met in pre-season friendlies in 2015 and 2016, with Nice winning 3-2 at home and Napoli prevailing 3-0 at the Stadio San Paolo 12 months later.

• Prior to the first leg, Nice had never met Serie A opposition in UEFA competition.

• Napoli’s record in nine matches against French teams in UEFA competition is: W5 D2 L2.

• The Italian side’s knockout record in UEFA competition against Ligue 1 clubs is W1 L2, with all three previous ties coming in the UEFA Cup; they beat FC Girondins Bordeaux 1-0 on aggregate in the 1988/89 third round but lost on penalties to Toulouse FC in the first round in 1986/87 and were eliminated by Paris Saint-Germain FC 2-0 over two legs in the 1992/93 second round.


Watch highlights of the first leg in Naples

Match background
• Nice’s home record in UEFA club competition is W15 D4 L3.

• By contrast, the French club have won only one of their 21 away games in UEFA competition.

• Nice ousted AFC Ajax on away goals in the third qualifying round, going through after a 1-1 home draw and a 2-2 in Amsterdam.

• This is Nice’s first UEFA Champions League campaign, and just their third in the European Cup overall. Their last before this came in 1959/60, when they got to the quarter-finals, as they had on their debut in 1956/57 – both campaigns were ended by eventual winners Real Madrid CF.

• In 2016/17, Nice finished fourth in their UEFA Europa League group – the first time they had participated in that stage of the competition.

• Napoli are seeking to reach the group stage for the fourth time, after their campaigns in 2011/12, 2013/14 and 2016/17.

• The Serie A outfit have only lost twice in eight European away games since the start of 2015/16 (W5 D1 L2). Their home record in their last 22 European fixtures is even more impressive: W14 D6 L2.

• One of those defeats came in last season’s round of 16, when the Partenopei lost 3-1 in both legs to eventual champions Real Madrid.

• The Italian outfit lost their only previous play-off tie, against Athletic Club in 2014/15.

Mario Balotelli scored for Manchester City against Napoli


Mario Balotelli scored for Manchester City against Napoli©Getty Images

Team and coach links
• Mario Balotelli, injured for the first leg, has faced Napoli six times in his career (D1 L5). He scored against the Vesuviani for Manchester City FC during the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage and for AC Milan in a 2-1 home defeat in September 2013.

• Pepe Reina saved a Balotelli penalty in that 2013 fixture. The forward was then sent off after the final whistle.

• New Nice signing Wesley Sneijder – also absent in Naples – played in Italy for FC Internazionale Milano from August 2009 to January 2013, winning the UEFA Champions League, the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia in 2010.

• Napoli’s Adam Ounas (Bordeaux), Kalidou Koulibaly (FC Metz) and Faouzi Ghoulam (AS Saint-Étienne) have experience of French football.

Coach profiles
• Lucien Favre took charge of Nice in summer 2016, steering them to a third-place finish in Ligue 1. Twice a title winner with FC Zürich in his native Switzerland, he made a positive impression in Germany with Hertha BSC Berlin and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. He was capped 24 times as a midfielder.

• Naples-born Maurizio Sarri replaced Rafael Benítez when the Spaniard left Napoli for Madrid at the end of the 2014/15 campaign. Having spent much of his career in the lower leagues, Sarri led Empoli FC into Serie A in 2013/14 and kept them up comfortably before quitting to join Napoli.

Penalty shoot-outs
• Nice have never been involved in a penalty shoot-out in UEFA competition.

• Napoli’s record in three UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L2:
3-5 v FC Spartak Moskva, 1990/91 European Champion Clubs’ Cup second round
4-3 v Sporting Clube de Portugal, 1989/90 UEFA Cup first round
3-4 v Toulouse FC, 1986/87 UEFA Cup first round


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