Napoli vs Liverpool – Preview

Reds Travel to Naples

The tough run continues as Liverpool take on second-place Napoli in the Champions League.

Liverpool’s lineup was shambolic the last time these two sides played each other. The likes of David N’Gog, Jay Spearing, and Paul Konchesky lead our dismal team.

A new look Liverpool will have to take on the dangerous Italians, backed by a passionate crowd, inside a hostile stadium.

Napoli Team News and Predicted Lineup

lineup (3)

Napoli will be without winger Amin Younes and former Tottenham defender Vlad Chiriches for the game, but still boast a strong lineup with some interesting rotational options.

Arkadiusz Milik is the most prominent of these options as the big Polish striker has the capability of disrupting even the best of defences on his day.

The only other uncertainty will be the formation which Carlo Ancelotti employs for this match. His Napoli side have utilised 4-4 -2, 4-2-3-1, and 4-4-1-1 to equal effect this season.

Liverpool Team News and Predicted Lineup

lineup (2)

Liverpool’s formation and tactics should be fairly straightforward, but considering we have one of the most important games of the season on the weekend against Manchester City, Klopp could be tempted to rest key players.

I do not expect Klopp to do so, but if he did, he could consider rotating the fullbacks. Similarly, he could rest our forwards by playing one or both of Xherdan Shaqiri or the in-form Daniel Sturridge.

The one change I am expecting is in the midfield. I believe Klopp will have faith in Naby Keita to build on his cameo against Chelsea by making his mark in the Champions League.

Pre-Game Analysis

Ancelotti’s side have the quality and tactical discipline to cause Liverpool problems. Their midfield duo perfectly combine industry with outstanding technique, and their wide players cover for each other during attacking plays.

Lorenzo Insigne is perhaps Napoli’s greatest weapon, but Dries Mertens can be just as dangerous. Both players are blessed with excellent feet and a great deal of pace; providing them with multiple ways in which they can score and create chances.

However, one of Napoli’s biggest weaknesses that can be exploited is the fact that they play with a high defensive line. This was the deciding factor in the pre-season thrashing of Napoli, 5 – 0, when Liverpool’s forwards tore them to ribbons by regularly finding space behind the defenders.

Prediction

Given that Liverpool’s lineup is largely guesswork at this point, it’s exceedingly difficult to make a realistic prediction.

However, if Klopp fields his strongest XI, the forwards should be able to make Napoli pay while our defenders snuff out their opportunities.

If my lineup is accurate, then I can see Liverpool remaining top of the group with a convincing 3 – 1 victory against the Neapolitans.

 

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea

 

Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 04/10/2018

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