Sep 18, 2014 at 8.05pm UK at ‚ÄčStadio San Paolo
Napoli
3-1
Sparta Prague
Higuain (23' pen.), Mertens (51', 81')
Mertens (66')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Husbauer (14')
Nhamoinesu (22'), Bednar (93')

Preview: Napoli vs. Sparta Prague

Preview: Napoli vs. Sparta Prague
© Getty Images
Sports Mole looks ahead to Thursday's Europa League clash between Napoli and Sparta Prague in Italy.

Former champions Napoli open their Europa League group campaign on Thursday when they welcome Sparta Prague to the Stadio San Paolo.

The Italians, who lifted the trophy back in 1989 when it was known as the UEFA Cup, dropped down to this season's competition after being beaten by Athletic Bilbao in Champions League qualifying.

Rafael Benitez's side have started the new Serie A season modestly, with one win and one defeat putting them in ninth place in the standings.

In contrast, Sparta Prague currently sit in second spot in their domestic league thanks to four wins from their opening seven games.

The Czechs had to beat Dutch side PEC Zwolle to make it through to the group stage of the Europa League, but a 4-2 aggregate victory saw them through safely.

Recent form

Napoli: WLDLWL

Sparta Prague: DLWWWD

Possible starting lineups

Napoli: Rafael; Maggio, Albiol, Koulibaly, Zuniga; Inler, Jorginho; Callejon, Hamsik, Insigne; Higuain

Sparta Prague: Bicik; Kovac, Brabec, Nhamoinesu, Vacek; Matejovsky, Dockal, Marecek, Krejci; Kaderabek, Lafata

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Napoli's Spanish forward Jose Maria Callejon vies with Bilbao's Spanish defender Mikel Balenziaga during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League play-off football match between SSC Napoli and Bilbao Athletic Club in San Paolo Stadium on August 19, 2014
Read Next:
Team News: Napoli unchanged for Chievo clash
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Napoli66002251718
2Juventus66001831518
3Inter Milan65101221016
4Lazio6411138513
5Roma5401124812
6AC Milan6402108212
7Sampdoria532084411
8Torino6321109111
9Atalanta BCAtalanta622210828
10AC Chievo VeronaChievo622278-18
11Bologna622257-28
12Fiorentina62139817
13CagliariCagliari620448-46
14SPALSPAL6114511-64
15SassuoloSassuolo611439-64
16Crotone6114311-84
17Udinese6105813-53
18Genoa6024510-52
19Hellas VeronaHellas Verona6024114-132
20BeneventoBenevento6006116-150
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand