Napoli - Club Brugge Preview: Italians look to maintain stranglehold on Group D
Napoli won the reverse of this fixture 5-0 earlier this season. (Photo: Goal)

It will be another test in Europe for Napoli as they look to maintain their huge lead in Group D of the Europa League against Club Brugge

Recent form 

In what has been a wild Serie A season thus far, Napoli find themselves in second place in the table. They are two points behind leaders Internazionale, tied for points with Fiorentina and are only a point ahead of Roma.

Unlike some of the recent years in Serie A, it looks like it will be a tight race until the end and Napoli are right up there.

After their game against Brugge, Napoli will play Inter this weekend in one of the biggest clashes in Europe. If they can come out of that game with all three points, they could find themselves at the top of Serie A.

They are also flying in the Europa League, sitting six points clear at the top of their group, and the knockout stages seem to be calling as they look to improve on their finish from last year. 

Like Napoli, Club Brugge also find themselves second in their domestic table.

Two points behind table-topping Gent in the Belgian Pro League, Brugge enter this game on a winning streak with their most recent victory seeing them dispatch fifth place Zulte Waregem 3-0. They will be looking to keep up with Gent and K.V. Oostende, who are tied with Brugge on points, in the race for the trophy and are right in the mix again.

In Europe however, Brugge have some work to do. They currently sit third in Group D and are two points behind the second spot in the group. Thus, they will need a win and some help if they want to advance to the knockout stages. 

Key players 

The key man for Napoli will be their striker Gonzalo Higuain. Higuain has been on fire so far in Serie A, scoring 10 goals in 13 matches, and was recently the match winner in his side's 1-0 win over Verona. He has also scored two goals in the Europa League and has been the main outlet on offense. 

The main man for Brugge, on the other hand, will be their best player Victor Vazquez. The former Barcelona man is the key in the midfield for the Belgians and controls everything moving forward for them. If Brugge want to steal points from this game, Vazquez will be a big part of it. 

Previous meeting

The last time these two teams met, it was a 5-0 win for Napoli in Naples as they controlled the game the entire time. 

However, due to the high amount of terrorist threats in Belgium, the mayor of Bruges said that Napoli fans will be banned from attending the game, so the Italians will have to generate their own inspiration on the road.