Napoli vs Liverpool
After failing to win in their respective domestic leagues the last time out, Liverpool and Napoli head to the Champions League with their eyes set on getting the victory they oh so crave.
Liverpool haven’t won in two games now, losing one and drawing the other in their back-to-back meetings with Premier League rivals Chelsea. Meanwhile, Napoli are coming off a defeat to Serie A champions Juventus, who scored three goals to frustrate the Partenopei.
It has been a long time since these two European giants played each other, but the Champions League Napoli-Liverpool clash is promising to be a cracker of a show.
Liverpool haven’t been at their best in recent games, and while their loss to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup can be attributed to injuries to key players, their 1-1 draw with the Blues in the English top-flight match that followed was a bit surprising.
Chelsea are by no means weak opponents—they are undefeated in the league, after all. However, Liverpool’s failure to convert their chances in the game was uncharacteristic for a team that boasts one of the best attacking trios in football.
Even more surprising was the fact that they needed a late Daniel Sturridge goal to cancel Eden Hazard’s opener and get a share of the spoils.
It doesn’t help the Reds that Mo Salah is noticeably out of form after scoring just once in their last seven games in all competitions. Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his star striker is struggling for confidence right now, and that is certainly an issue he needs to address ahead of their visit to Italy.
With their offensive woes coupled with Salah’s struggles, Klopp must find a way to reignite their spark on the attack. It might still be too early to worry, slump happens to any team, but the German manager can’t afford to take risks and gamble, especially in the Champions League.
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah being instructed by manager Jurgen Klopp during a Carabao Cup game against Chelsea
Sturridge has seen limited minutes this season, but he has been impactful for Liverpool with his four goals—joint-top with Sadio Mane in the Reds’ scoring charts. He even scored in their Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain a fortnight ago!
Xherdan Shaqiri, often coming off the bench, has also been sensational in his previous two starts. He is undoubtedly one of the best performers for Liverpool in their recent fixtures, and he could be in for a breakout game anytime soon.
Klopp may get the answer he’s looking for from the two, but it remains to be seen if he’ll take out Salah in their game against Napoli. Besides, he knows it’s only through playing games that Salah will be able to regain his confidence.
Napoli, on the other hand, will learn from Chelsea’s success against Liverpool as they aim to stymie the visitors’ firing line.
Carlo Ancelotti, however, knows that they are up for a tough challenge especially after their embarrassing 3-1 loss to Juventus over the weekend. The Italian boss has slammed his team for lacking “character, consistency and experience,” and it’s up to the players now to respond to their manager’s criticism.
Some positive notes for Napoli though: they also have a deadly attacking trio in Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Arkadiusz Milik, and they are unbeaten at home since March.
The two teams met in a club friendly last August, with Liverpool coming out as 5-0 winners behind goals from James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alberto Moreno, Sturridge and Salah. Nonetheless, they last played a competitive match eight years ago, in the Europa League.
Their UEL two-legged tie was their only meeting in European competition, and the Partenopei haven’t beaten the English team even once in those games. Napoli held Liverpool to a goalless draw in their first match at Naples, but the then Steven Gerrard-led squad bounced back in the return fixture at Anfield to win 3-1 en route to finishing top of their group.
Sure enough, the previous Napoli-Liverpool results matter little now, though knowing history is on their side can serve as a source of confidence for the Reds.
||Napoli vs Liverpool
||Liverpool 1X2 @ 2.13
|October 04, 03:00 (GMT+8)
While it might be tempting to put the money on underdogs Napoli given Liverpool’s recent skid, it’s still hard to see the 2017/18 Champions League finalists losing here.
Napoli-vs-Liverpool betting odds at us put Klopp’s men ahead, and I honestly see them winning too when you consider that Ancelotti’s men failed to find the back of the net in their opening draw with Serbian side Red Star Belgrade.
Liverpool’s offensive woes are concerning, but I think they have enough quality and depth to remedy that. Besides, Napoli are no Chelsea.
I predict a Liverpool victory, albeit by only one goal.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:
| = €20 (Highly confident)
|| = €10 (CONFIDENT)
|| = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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