Napoli vs Liverpool

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June 21, 2010 - Nyon, SWITZERLAND - epa02214375 The Europa League trophy is shown, prior the drawing of the games for the Europa League 2010/11 First qualifying round, at the UEFA Headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Monday, June 21, 2010. (KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi.

Liverpool’s Europa League campaign continues tonight (Thursday’) with the visit to Serie A side Napoli in Southern Italy.

The Reds have endured a mixed start to their Europa League group stage so far, having beaten Steaua Bucharest 4-1 at Anfield, but were held to a dull 0-0 draw at Dutch side Utrecht.

Team news

Roy Hodgson has opted to rest some of his big players, with a crucial Premier League clash against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday afternoon.

Left back on Merseyside are Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Lucas and Raul Meireles.

Hodgson is also without Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt due to injuries, but Christian Poulsen returns after missing last weekend’s game.

Form

Whilst Liverpool lost 2-0 to Everton in their league outing on Sunday, Napoli were held 1-1 by Catania.

However, they recently impressed in a 2-0 win over Roma and are currently fourth in the Serie A league table, just behind Rafa Benitez’s Inter Milan in third.

View from the other side

Napoli coach walter Mazzarri is relishing the visit of the Reds, looking to cause further problems to a side already lacking in confidence.

“We will do everything possible to overcome Liverpool,” explained Mazzarri.

“I want a great match. I would like the team to play good football and produce a positive performance.

“I don’t want only to secure a good result. I want to achieve it in the best possible fashion.
“We want to give happiness to our supporters and we will play with soul, regardless of the possible outcome.”

Expect to see that familiar face of Andrea Dossena in the Napoli squad following his move back to his homeland in January.

Napoli vs Liverpool gets underway at the Stadio San Paulo at 6pm this evening. Stay tuned to This Is Anfield throughout the day for more team news and match coverage.

For the latest pre-match discussion, head to our Liverpool FC forums.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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