Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Prediction: Liverpool vs Napoli

Verdict: Liverpool

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

The final round of the Champions League Group stage brings a crunch clash to Anfield where Liverpool and Napoli lock horns to determine which club progresses into the elimination phase of Europe’s elite club competition.

Liverpool

Heading into the final round of the Champions League group action, Liverpool sit third in Group C behind both Napoli and PSG. The Reds face a daunting task against table toppers from Italy and will turn to match to calculate their passage into the next round.

Jurgen Klopp’s men need a victory by a two-goal margin or exactly 1-0 to proceed further. And that’s on the condition that the second-placed PSG beat Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade. The Serbian giants have yet to lose a home game in the competition which further complicates the situation in Group C. As for Liverpool, the game ahead is exactly how they like them best. Jurgen Klopp has issued a cry to Liverpool supporters and asked them to create an electric atmosphere at Anfield. The Reds warmed up for the Napoli clash with a comprehensive 4-0 win at Bournemouth which should come as an encouragement ahead of the Partenopei test. The German tactician is faced with a couple of selection dilemmas and is likely to shuffle his deck a bit.

Team News

Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are ruled out through injury while the same goes for Dejan Lovren and Dominic Solanke who have yet to reach full fitness following their respective injuries.

Naby Keita is likely to be given another chance to shine from the start after his impressive back-to-back performances, while Fabinho will also be there to hold the base of the midfield.

Napoli

With a point ahead of PSG and three in front of Liverpool, it would appear that Napoli hold faith in their own hands. The Partenopei are the only unbeaten side in Group C and plan to remain as such after the Tuesday’s match.

A draw would do them plenty of good and even a one-margin goal if they score one but calculations are not something Carlo Ancelotti wants to break his head with. The Italian has already announced he will be looking to bring the attacking mentality into the Anfield showdown and we should be in for another high-octane game from two similarly bred sides. Just like Liverpool, the Serie A side are also coming off from a 4-0 win this weekend. Lowly Frosinone were no match for the rampant hosts who have thus extended their unbeaten run to 12 straight matches. Ancelotti did a great job after taking over from Sarri and made Napoli a steady side. As a man known for his glowing reputation in the Champions League, Ancelotti and his Napoli side will have to be taken with extreme caution.

Team News

Romania defender Vlad Chiriches remains on the sidelines through a knee injury whereas the Italian midfielder Simone Verdi is out with an ankle problem.

Dries Mertens is likely to get back to the starting line-up after being rested on the bench at the weekend.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Liverpool conceded only 3 goals in last 6 matches in all competitions
  • Reds won 8 out of 10 home matches this season
  • Napoli go through with win, draw or PSG losing in Belgrade
  • Liverpool need a two-goal margin win or 1-0 if PSG beat Crvena Zvezda
  • Liverpool is experiencing a best-ever start to a season (in the Premier League)

Conclusion

If there is one thing we know for sure here it’s that neither Liverpool nor Napoli will sit idly and comfortably in their own space. The Anfield game promises to be a huge football affair with goals on both ends even though it will most likely mess up the math and calculations over who needs what to go through. The odds are better on the winner though which is why we decided to back the home side.

Verdict: Liverpool

Best Odds: 8/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

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