Liverpool Vs Napoli Preview - Win for Reds would ensure qualification for the knockout stages

Liverpool Vs Napoli Preview - Win for Reds would ensure qualification for the knockout stages

The Details

 Champions League

Venue – Anfield, Liverpool

Referee – Carlos del Cerro Grande (ESP)

Date & Time – Wednesday, November 27th 2019 @ 20:00

AI Tees

Current Odds – Liverpool 2/5, Draw 15/4, Napoli 13/2

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It’s time for another massive night of European football action under the lights at Anfield. We like those, don’t we?

Form

Liverpool Form

Liverpool have won all seven games since they drew away to Manchester United back in October (one of those ‘wins’ came via a penalty shootout against Arsenal after a 5-5 draw in the Carabao Cup).

The Reds just keep grinding out result after result and their form has given them an 8-point lead over Leicester City at the top of the Premier League. A win against Napoli would guarantee that Jurgen Klopp’s Redmen progress to the last-sixteen as they look to defend their trophy.

Napoli Form

Napoli are without a win in their previous six games. They haven’t tasted victory since they picked up three points away to Red Bull Salzburg over a month ago. Since then, they have drawn five and lost one in all competitions.

This dip has seen Carlo Ancelotti’s team fall to a very poor seventh-place in Serie A, already 15 points behind leaders Juventus.

A win at Anfield, however, would put them through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and could prove to be the kickstart they need to get back to the performance levels they are capable of.

Team News

Liverpool Team News

Joel Matip is not back to full fitness yet. He is the only member of The Reds’ registered Champions League squad that is out of this game.

Xherdan Shaqiri is still working his way back to full fitness but could feature in the matchday squad.

After Saturday’s hard-fought win at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jurgen Klopp rotated the midfield trio. James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could start in place of Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum. Oxlade-Chamberlain played just over an hour as part of the front three on Saturday. He could start in his more preferred midfield role against Napoli.

Mohamed Salah was rested for the Crystal Palace game so he will almost certainly start in this fixture.

Joe Gomez might be given the chance to partner Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the back four in place of Dejan Lovren.

Napoli Team News

Kevin Malcuit, Lorenzo Insigne and Arkadiusz Milik are all reported to be out of this week’s game. Mario Rui faces a late fitness test for Carlo Ancelotti’s side too.

Ancelotti likes to set his Napoli team up in a very old-school 4-4-2 formation and that isn’t likely to change on Wednesday night.

Napoli have no players suspended for this match.

Predicted Lineups

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mané

Napoli XI (4-4-2) – Meret; Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Callejon, Allan, Ruiz, Zielinski; Mertens, Lozano

When they last met

Napoli won 2-0 in Naples earlier in the group. Last season, Napoli won their home game 1-0 against The Reds. However, a Mohamed Salah goal at Anfield gave Liverpool the three points they needed to qualify for the last-sixteen as Jurgen Klopp’s side continued on the road to lift the club’s sixth European Cup in Madrid.

Prediction

Liverpool 1 – 1 Napoli

Napoli have won two of the last three competitive meetings between the two sides under Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian boss seems to have the measure of Jurgen Klopp, tactically, in the head-to-head fixtures so far. Therefore, I think it will be another very tight encounter on Wednesday and Liverpool may well have to settle for a point.