2019-20 UEFA Champions League: Group Stage – Napoli v Liverpool

Liverpool kick-start their title defence as European champions with a trip to Napoli on the opening match day of the UEFA Champions League Group Stages.

 

Team news

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Napoli will be without Arkadiusz Milik due to a muscle injury, which has kept him sidelined for the last month. 

Lorenzo Insigne therefore could replace the Pole up front after recovering from his own injury woes.

Liverpool are without Divock Origi after the Belgian suffered an ankle injury during their 3-1 win over Newcastle at the weekend. 

Alisson (calf), Naby Keita (groin) and Nathaniel Clyne (knee) are also ruled out but Andrew Robertson could play if he passes a late fitness test. 

 

Stat Attack

  • Liverpool have lost one of their four previous meetings with Napoli, which came at this stage last season (W2, D1, L1).
  • Napoli have lost three meetings with English opposition since winning here last season, as they lost the return leg at Anfield before suffering consecutive defeats against Arsenal in the Europa League Quarter-Finals.
  • Liverpool are yet to score a goal away to Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo.
  • Napoli have kept just two clean sheets in their last five home meetings with English opposition in all European competitions (2013-14 = 2-0 vs Arsenal, 2018-19 = 1-0 vs Liverpool).
  • Liverpool scored first in just two of their six European away games last season, excluding the final which was played at a neutral venue.

 

Prediction

I can definitely see goals here given Liverpool’s defensive issues as a result of their higher attacking line approach. 

Napoli however countered their balanced style last season with a similar high pressing game which proved successful, so I can see more of the same but this time Liverpool should have enough to deliver a win and break their away goal duck in Naples. 

Prediction: Napoli 1-2 Liverpool

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