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San Paolo heading towards Champions League sellout for Athletic Bilbao match

At the rate things are going, it won't be long until the Stadio San Paolo is completely sold out for the Champions League Playoff tie against Athletic Bilbao.

Giuseppe Bellini

As both team and city prepare for the vital Champions League Playoff against Athletic Bilbao, tickets have gone on sale for Tuesday's match, and by all indications, the paretnopei faithful are eager to see the match.

According to various reports, Napoli are expected to fill their full 25,000 ticket allotment for the match and are well on their way towards doing so, with the rest going to Athletic Bilbao and UEFA for distribution. If some of those other tickets are still available in the last two days before the match, UEFA should, as standard procedure, release them back to Napoli for sale, where they will certainly be snapped up in a hurry by local fans.

The Stadio San Paolo is always a special place to be, but on Champions League nights it's on a whole other level. On a Champions League night with this much on the line... this could really be something to behold.

Napoli don't want it to be a little too much to behold, however; UEFA regulations forbid certain fan behaviors such as the use of pyrotechnics and smoke bombs, things that certain portions of the Napoli fanbase have a reputation for using (hi there, Coppa Italia final!). Given as violating those regulations come with stiff fines and potential stadium bans, Napoli very much want to see their fans respect the rules and be able to fill the San Paolo again for more Champions League nights this season.

There are also reports that Athletic Bilbao will be travelling with members of the Basque police force as security for the team, who will also be present in the stadium. While some have reacted to this as negative profiling of Napoli fans as dangerous and violent ultras (though sadly Napoli fans can't claim to be entirely innocent on this one), further research shows that this is actually fairly normal for Athletic to do when they're travelling outside of Spain, and even occasionally when they play in Madrid.

Next Tuesday is certainly going to be a sight to see: a packed San Paolo, an energized crowd, and Champions League football. Hopefully the performance matches the occasion.