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Bayern Munchen vs. Napoli UEFA Champions League preview

by Charles Preston on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Bayern München welcome Napoli looking to strengthen their grip on top spot in Group A.

The teams’ 1-1 draw in Naples on matchday three meant Bayern retained first place, two points above Napoli. Jupp Heynckes’ men can guarantee qualification if they defeat their Italian visitors and third-placed Manchester City FC fail to beat Villarreal CF.

Heynckes was in his first spell as Bayern coach when the clubs met in the 1988/89 UEFA Cup semi-finals, Napoli taking a 2-0 advantage in the first leg with Careca and Andrea Carnevale scoring. Careca struck twice more in the 2-2 return in Germany, Roland Wohlfarth and Stefan Reuter replying for Bayern. Napoli beat VfB Stuttgart in the subsequent final to claim their first European trophy.

Bayern have won nine of their last ten UEFA Champions League home outings, including 2-0 successes against FC Zürich and Manchester City FC this season. The only blip was their defeat by FC Internazionale Milano in last season’s last 16, when an 88th-minute goal by Goran Pandev, now a Napoli player, inflicted a 3-2 loss and elimination on away goals.

Bayern had mixed fortunes at home against Italian opposition last season, having earlier beaten AS Roma 2-0 in the group stage. Thomas Müller scored at home against both Roma and Inter.

Including their 2010 UEFA Champions League final reverse against Inter in which Pandev also played, this is Bayern’s 13th meeting with Italian opposition in four seasons. The Bavarian club’s home record against sides from Italy is W6 D5 L5.

Napoli are still seeking a first victory in Germany at the seventh attempt. Their most recent trip brought a 1-0 loss against an Eintracht Frankfurt side coached by Heynckes in the UEFA Cup third round in December 1994. Heynckes’ Eintracht won both ties 1-0 but lost to Juventus in the next round.

Napoli’s second heaviest defeat in Europe came on German soil – a 5-1 loss at SV Werder Bremen in the 1989/90 UEFA Cup third round.

The Serie A side’s overall away record against German clubs is: W0 D3 L3.