Liverpool vs Napoli Preview

December 10, 2018
By: Daniel Orme

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool face a huge match in their potential UEFA Champions League hopes as they go up against Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday evening.

Currently sitting third in Group C of the competition, the Reds are in real peril of potentially being eliminated altogether and have to beat the Italian outfit in order to qualify. Whilst underdogs, Liverpool can be backed at 8/11 with William Hill to reach the next round of the competition.

Carlo Ancelotti’s troops travel to Merseyside in control in the group, sitting top with nine points. Should they avoid defeat to Liverpool, they will secure their progression and are at 8/13 to do just that. However, their situation is just as precarious as should they lose, and Paris Saint Germain beat Red Star Belgrade in Serbia, they will instead drop into the UEFA Europa League. If that eventuality does occur, it would become the third time in their last four appearances that the Italian giants have failed to progress from their Champions League group.

One statistic that could provide clues to how the clash may play out is the recent head-to-head results between the two. Both teams come into the clash at Anfield having won one, drawn one and lost one game each. However, Napoli did win the prior clash during this season with Lorenzo Insigne scoring an extremely late winner. The Partenopei are at 9/2 with Paddy Power to win at Anfield, whilst Klopp’s troops possess odds of 4/7 to win.

Another aspect that could give the Reds huge confidence is their excellent defensive record this season. They have already claimed 11 clean sheets in all competitions so far this season and they will be keen to continue that record against Napoli. However, only one of those shutouts have come in Champions League action with their 4-0 win over Red Star Belgrade. They are at 15/8 to add to that though with Coral.

In order to do that, they will have to keep an extremely talented Napoli attack that boasts the likes of Insigne, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon quiet. Mertens is at 9/1 to hit the opening goal at Anfield.

However, Mohamed Salah comes into this game in tremendous form having had a hand in 11 goals in his last eight matches, including a hat-trick against Bournemouth last time out. Naturally, he is one of the favourites to open the scoring at 7/2.

Elsewhere, Adam Lallana should be fine to play after suffering a nasty cut on his head against Bournemouth. Dejan Lovren could also return. However, the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Dominic Solanke and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all remain ruled out.

Napoli do not have to many injury concerns with only Vlad Chiriches and Simone Verdi both restricted to the sidelines.

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