- UEFA Champions League
- Stadio San Paulo, Naples
- October 3rd, 2018 – 20:00
If Carlo Ancelotti is to taste Champions League success, his Napoli team must do so the hard way. Liverpool arrive in the Stadio San Paulo for a match neither side can afford to lose, and one Napoli must win.
Matchday 1 saw the Partenopei stumble with a goalless draw in Belgrade. Red Star face a double-header against Liverpool next with few expecting anything other than six points for the Premier League giants.
Working on that eventuality, Napoli have to take three points particularly with two games against Paris St-Germain upcoming; it’s a group of death and the Italians desperately need to spark life into their campaign.
The 3 – 1 defeat against Juventus at the weekend doesn’t instil a great deal of hope. It was their second defeat in six games (W3, D1). However, Napoli are unbeaten in eight at home (W7, D1) although their European form shows two defeats in their last three home games (W1).
Goals are not an issue with seven of the last nine in the Champions and Europa League featuring over 2.5 goals with one team scoring three or more in those games. Six of Napoli’s seven Serie A games this season also reached that benchmark.
Liverpool, scoring at will last season, are relatively subdued this time around. Five of their opening six games saw over 2.5 goals but only one saw over 3.5 goals.
The Reds only defeat this season came at Anfield leaving them unbeaten on the road (W3, D1) although they have lost their last two away games in the Champions League, conceding seven goals in total.
Napoli Team News
Only Amin Younes and Vlad Cirinches are absent leaving Carlo Ancelotti with a strong squad to choose from.
Liverpool Team News
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for the season while Adam Lallana and Divock Origi are struggling to be fit for this one..
Form (Last six matches)
Liverpool are unbeaten in the three previous meetings with Napoli (W2, D1) and forced a goalless draw the last time they played in the Stadio San Paulo.
Despite the talent on display, both teams are vulnerable at the back with their belief in attacking football almost unswerving. Napoli have two consecutive clean sheets in Serie A but the pace of Liverpool’s attack is a greater threat than Parma and Fiorentina offer.
Like Napoli, the Reds endured the weekend rather than enjoyed it. A last-gasp equaliser from Daniel Sturridge, as great a goal as it was, gave them an undeserved point at Chelsea. Indeed, they got their just reward with a defeat and draw against the club in the last two matches.
Can former Blues boss Ancelotti add to their woes?