Liverpool may be looking to avenge last season’s defeat in Naples, but Napoli will be seeking revenge after the Italian side came closer than anyone to knocking out the Reds en-route to winning the Champions League.
Napoli vs. Liverpool
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – 8pm (BST)
Stadio San Paolo
Champions League Group Stage (Matchday 1)
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
There’s no stopping this Reds side at the minute.
Every challenge that comes their way seems to be hurdled emphatically as they continue to show why they are Europe’s most in-form team.
Saturday’s 3-1 win at home to Newcastle was typically impressive, overcoming a shock early deficit to eventually ease to victory.
Klopp’s men open their account with their toughest game of the group stage, revisiting the location of one of their lowest moments last season.
The 1-0 defeat away to Napoli last October saw Liverpool perform woefully, but thankfully, they recovered and qualified for the knockout stages.
The Reds have improved so much since then, however, and they head to Stadio San Paolo brimming with confidence and feared by everyone across the continent.
Napoli will pose an obvious threat, and a draw would be a perfectly good result, but there is no reason why Liverpool can’t start the defence of their title with a bang.
The 26-year-old is still finding his feet after his long injury absence.
Firmino was exceptional against Newcastle, earning rave reviews from many watching on, and he is a certainty to feature prominently after not starting at Anfield.
Napoli are without Arkadiusz Milik, who Alisson famously saved from in the dying seconds at Anfield last season, but star man Lorenzo Insigne should be fit.
Liverpool’s 20-man squad
Goalkeepers: Adrian, Kelleher, Lonergan
Defenders: Van Dijk, Lovren, Gomez, Robertson, Matip, Alexander-Arnold
Midfielders: Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana
Forwards: Firmino, Mane, Salah, Shaqiri, Brewster
Past Meetings with Napoli (All Competitions)
Won 1-0 (h) – December 2018 (Salah)
Lost 1-0 (a) – October 2018 (Insigne)
Won 3-1 (h) – November 2010 (Gerrard x3; Lavezzi)
Drew 0-0 (a) – October 2010
Stadio San Paolo
Address: Piazzale Vincenzo Tecchio, 80125 Napoli NA, Italy
Did You Know?
Liverpool may be European champions, but it’s worth remembering that they can get even better in the competition, namely away from home.
The Reds only won two matches on their travels last season, losing all three away group stage games and also suffering a 3-0 defeat at Barcelona in the semi-final first leg.
In the 2017/18 season, Klopp’s team also lost 4-2 away to Roma in the semi-final second leg, as well as failing to win at Spartak Moscow and Sevilla in the group.
Napoli – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 2-0 vs. Sampdoria
Lost 4-3 vs. Juventus
Won 4-3 vs. Fiorentina
Lost 4-0 vs. Barcelona (pre-season friendly)
Lost 2-1 vs. Barcelona (pre-season friendly)
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking in his press conference on Monday, Klopp noted the strengths of the Serie A side, as well as an interesting similarity with the Reds—like Liverpool, they finished as runners-up in their domestic league last term:
“A few new players but they kept most of team, so both of us didn’t start new, we build on last year. Hopefully for them it’s better in the end.
“They do what they do, stubborn in a positive way, break lines, creative between the lines. I enjoy analysing Napoli.
TV & Liveblog Info
Napoli vs. Liverpool is live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm (BST), with kickoff at 8pm.
Chris Williams is in charge of This is Anfield’s matchday liveblog from 7.15pm, keeping you entertained before and during proceedings.