Liverpool vs Napoli – Champions League Preview

Liverpool take on Napoli at Anfield in the final game of the Champions League group stage.

The equation is simple. Liverpool must either win 1-0 or by two clear goals in order to progress to the knockout stages. Failure means almost certain relegation to the Europa League.

Napoli are a fierce opponent and already can boast one win over the Reds. If Klopp’s men aren’t careful, this could quickly turn into a nightmare. A balance of intense focus and ruthless aggression must be met if we are to win the game and progress to the knockouts.

Liverpool Predicted Lineup and Team News

lineup

Apart from the long-term injuries that are still hanging over us, Liverpool have no new injuries to report on.

The team should more or less pick itself aside from the midfield. There, Klopp has a pick of multiple options and formations. Keita and Fabinho’s form should see them retained in midfield, while Wijnaldum has been known to step up another gear in Champions League games.

Milner can’t be overlooked though as his experience and industry in the middle of the park could be invaluable. Klopp’s a big fan of Hendo as well, so it shouldn’t be too surprising if he is selected as well.

Napoli Predicted Lineup and Team News

lineup (1)

Carlo Ancellotti is blessed with a clean sheet in fitness terms, but that can sometimes be a curse in the sense of having too many options.

Piotr Zielinski was phenomenal in the first game and should therefore see his chances of starting rise. However, Masksimovic presents a far more defensively sound option at right-back, and in this game, there’s no reason for Napoli to take unnecessary risks.

The rest of the team more or less picks itself due to the quality of the starting players, but Milik could be included if Ancellotti decides to utilise a more direct approach in this game.

Pre-Game Analysis

This is an unusual game in the sense that it’s difficult to decide upon what approach each manager should take.

Should Klopp play safe and hope we pluck a goal? We’ve proven we’re capable of defending narrow leads now, but perhaps this is the game to go back to our old still of just attacking relentlessly and hope that we put enough goals past Napoli that it doesn’t matter if we concede.

Likewise, Ancellotti has to decide whether to go for the 0-0 draw and try to frustrate the home side, or push for a goal that would give them a lot of breathing space.

Prediction

Napoli will try and push for that all important first goal, but that will play right into Liverpool’s hands.

Liverpool will snatch a goal on the counter and defend the lead from there. It feels strange to say that given our history, but this team is more than capable of doing the job tough now.

The Reds will progress to the next round after a nervy, but deserving, 1-0 victory. C’mon Liverpool!

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Cieren O’Dea

Red Or Dead Liverpool FC Football Blog – 11/11/2018

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