Napoli v Liverpool : UEFA Champions League Match, Team News, Goal Scorers and Stats

10 months ago by: Olusanya Akinrinola
-- Online (m) at 16-09-2019 09:10PM

(6506 | Gistmaniac)

Date :Tuesday 17th, September
Stadium San Paolo
Referee Felix Brych (Germany)
Goal Scorer:

Team News

Carlo Ancelotti is a man not predisposed to looking impressed, but the Napoli coach had one less reason to crack a smile recently following a visit by builders to the Stadio San Paolo.

Napoli agreed to play both of their opening Serie A games away from home while renovation works were carried out on the changing rooms, but the coach has voiced his disapproval at the quality of the work.

Napoli have become embroiled in a curious war of words with the architects responsible for the renovation, posting a video on social media showing missing sinks and jutting electrical sockets, among other oddities.

There was plenty of non-building related drama during Napoli's hiatus from their home, taking in 14 goals across two games and leaving them on the right and wrong ends of a pair of 4-3 scorelines.

In their opening match, at Fiorentina, they fell behind early on before scoring four goals in less than half an hour to win the game, including a 67th-minute winner with the scores level at 3-3.

Their next game, at champions Juventus, was even more exciting, although not for all the reasons Ancelotti would have wanted.

Taking on the team who beat them to the title by 11 points last season, Napoli recovered from going 3-0 down after 62 minutes to score three times in 15 minutes, only for centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly to net a 92nd-minute own goal that restored Juve's lead and gave them the win.

Diminutive midfielder Dries Mertens scored in both halves as Napoli enjoyed a 2-0 win at home to Sampdoria on Saturday, lifting them to fifth in the early table, three points behind leaders Inter Milan.

Recent form: WLW

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Rui; Callejon, Ruiz Pena, Elmas; Zielinski, Lozano, Mertens

Less than five months after their last visit to Champions League opponents, when they were seen off 3-0 by Barcelona on a night when their hopes of becoming champions appeared in tatters, Liverpool will expect a more comfortable group stage experience than they endured last season.

They lost all three of their group stage games away from home, starting with that night at Napoli and proceeding to a 2-0 setback at Red Star Belgrade and a 2-1 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain.

Their home form saved them. With the exception of their opening 3-2 win over the Parisiens - a fine result in itself - Liverpool kept clean sheets in all of their Champions League matches at Anfield last season, including gaining revenge over Napoli.

Coach Jurgen Klopp has pointed out that two of his Champions League stars from last season, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, have benefited from not participating in international matches during the recent Premier League break.

Striker Salah scored five goals while Senegal's Mane scored four on Liverpool's triumphant run, and between them the pair were directly involved in 12 of the Reds' goals in Europe.

Their influence could be key as they look to help Liverpool improve a record of six defeats from their last 10 matches in Europe outside of England.

Klopp's men have lost on their last two visits to Italy but have only fallen to defeat in three of their last nine away games against Italian clubs, picking up three wins.

A 3-1 win at home to Newcastle United on Saturday, featuring a Mane double and a late Salah goal, kept Liverpool at the top of the table with a fifth straight league win and continued a superb start to the season in which they have become the only side in all four English divisions to win every match so far.

Recent form: WDWWWW

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Head To Head
Alisson's injury means that the elite keeper will not be able to repeat the kind of marvellous save he produced late on to keep Liverpool in the Champions League when they edged past Napoli at Anfield in December.

Salah scored the 34th-minute winner that night, sealing a vital three points on the fourth meeting between these clubs.

Before Napoli won in Naples, their previous encounter was in the 2010-11 Europa League group stage, when the match in Italy finished goalless.

The return game was contrastingly goal-laden and put Liverpool on a precipice again. Ezequiel Lavezzi scored in the first half, only for a typically timely Steven Gerrard hat-trick in the final 15 minutes, including goals in the 88th and 89th minutes.

Neither Liverpool nor Napoli enjoyed much onward success in Europe that season, finishing first and second respectively in their group but both failing to make the quarter-finals.

Prediction: Napoli 1-1 Liverpool
With or without plush changing rooms, Liverpool may feel some relief that they are navigating their rendezvous with Napoli at the start of their Champions League defence.

Ancelotti and his players are aiming to win the Scudetto this season - a lofty ambition given Juventus's dominance, but one that demonstrates their confidence and the quality they can call upon.

A point apiece would suit both sides in a group which, without demeaning Red Bull and Genk, is most likely to finish with these two at the top.

-- Lindatyli (f) at 18-09-2019 07:50AM
(10 | Newbie)

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