Europa League: Porto v Napoli match preview

A look ahead to this week’s Europa League fixture at the Estádio do Dragão

Napoli will travel to Porto on Thursday in the first-leg of their last 16 meeting in the Europa League.

The two teams, who both sit third in their respective divisions, were denied places in the Champions League knock out phases and  will be looking for some retribution in the Europa League.

Porto are led by interim manager Luis Castro who was only given the job last week following the sacking of manager Paulo Fonseca. Despite this, he led his team to their first win in five games and will be hoping to continue the turnaround on Thursday.

Napoli, led by ex-Liverpool and Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez, successfully overcame Swansea in the round of 32, keeping the Welsh side scoreless in the first leg and beating them 3-1 in the second.

Napoli and Porto will take to the pitch on Thursday for what will be the first time these two teams have met in a Uefa competition for nearly 40 years.

KICK-OFF: Thursday, 6.00pm

STATS...

The two sides met for the only time in the 1974/75 UEFA Cup second round, Luis Vinicio's Napoli winning 1-0 home and away against Aymoré Moreira's Porto.

Porto's record in 24 European encounters with Italian opponents is W6 D7 L11 (W3 D5 L3 at home)

Napoli's eight games against Portuguese sides have ended W4 D3 L1 (W1 D2 L1 in Portugal). 

Napoli (1989) and Porto (2003, 2011) are among six former UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 16, along with Tottenham Hotspur FC (1972, 1984), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007), Valencia CF (2004) and final hosts Juventus (1977, 1990, 1993).

ODDS…

Porto to win: 2.2

Napoli to win: 3.2

Draw: 3.3

TV: Live on ITV 4 at 6.00pm, highlights on ITV 1 at 6.00pm on Friday

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