Three reasons Arsenal should be scared of Napoli


Arsenal travel to Napoli's Stadio San Paolo on Wednesday evening only needing to avoid a three-goal defeat, but should be wary of the Azzurri.

Champions League progress looks almost certain for Arsene Wenger's side but they shouldn't underestimate the potential banana skin of Napoli.

A trip to the Stadio San Paolo is always an intimidating experience for a visiting side and Rafa Benitez's men are playing their biggest game of the season.

Here are three reasons why Arsenal should watch out for Napoli:

Napoli's home Champions League form

Napoli may have looked a little out of sorts in their last two home league games but they have been excellent in Champions League clashes at the Stadio San Paolo.

Benitez's men upset Borussia Dortmund 2-1 and showed great character to overcome Marseille 3-2. 

Their excellent home record in European competition even extends back to beating Chelsea 3-1 last February and putting Manchester City to the sword in November 2011.

In fact, Napoli are unbeaten in six home games in the Champions League - winning five and drawing one.

Ozil effect not valid for away Champions League games 

Mesut Ozil has been terrorising defences this season and will be one of Napoli's biggest worries, but away from home in the Champions League, he is far from lethal.

In fact, Ozil has only ever scored once in an away Champions League fixture - in April 2012 he netted for Real Madrid in their 2-1 defeat at Bayern Munich.

Arsenal have botched the Italian job before

Maybe a 3-0 defeat sounds far-fetched even away from home, but there is a precedent that Arsenal fans will surely still recall with bitterness.

Wenger's men were drubbed 4-0 by AC Milan on their last trip to Italy in the Champions League last 16 in February 2012.

A Robinho double, a superb Kevin-Prince Boateng strike and an Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty did the damage and although Arsenal fought back valiantly to win the home leg 3-0, the damage was done.

image: © luigig

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