Napoli v Liverpool Preview & Prediction: UEFA Champions League Match Preview, Where to watch and more
Liverpool and Napoli have been drawn into the same group for the second season running, although, on this occasion, they will both be expected to qualify for the next round. Liverpool won't forget in a hurry that Napoli came within touching distance of seeing them off in the group stage and the eventual champions only make it through on goal difference in the end.
The defending champions will want to put their best foot forward as they begin this campaign, especially in defence as they've only kept one clean sheet so far this season. Jurgen Klopp will know that San Paolo is not an easy place to visit and that this Napoli attack is capable of exposing any weaknesses in their backline.
Carlo Ancelotti will be optimistic of his side's chances of qualification from the group but will want to ensure that they get some points against Liverpool and their best opportunity will be in their opening fixture.
Date: 18 September 2019
Time: 00:30 IST
Venue: Stadio San Paolo
Referee: Felix Brych
Live Stream: Sony LIV
Napoli: W-L-W-L-L (including friendlies)
The Belgian is key to the way Napoli play and is able to bring the players around him into the fold regardless of who is playing around him. Although his best partners in attack over the years have been Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne. Mertens has begun this season in a blazing form in front of goal as well, 3 goals in three Serie A games and an assist means he's currently flying for the Neapolitans.
What Mertens has been doing for Napoli, Sadio Mane is replicating for Liverpool. The Senegalese was expected to make a relatively slow start considering his late return from the African Nations Cup, but with four goals and an assist in five Premier League games, he's showing no signs of fatigue. Add to that the 2 goals he scored against Chelsea in the European Supercup and Mane starts to make an impression as the difference-maker for the Reds.
Key Match Facts
Napoli have won only four of their last 12 UEFA Champions League fixtures, however, all those wins have come at home.
Liverpool lost all three of their away games in the Champions League last campaign, including a 1-0 loss to Napoli.
Betting Odds (from Bet365)
Napoli are a fairly strong side playing at home. They have started this season well, their only loss in the league came against Juventus who had a massive slice of luck after Napoli had clawed their way back in the game. Liverpool, however, have not dropped a single point so far this season and will be raring to go as they begin the defence of their title. The worrying thing for the Reds will be their less than perfect defence that has looked on uneven ground since the start of the campaign.
Napoli 2-2 LiverpoolModified 21 Dec 2019, 00:29 IST