Three points crucial as Reds take on Napoli


Liverpool face Napoli at Anfield for the second time in two years, but this time with less pressure – only slightly less, but less nonetheless.

Excuse my wordplay, but yet again the Reds are taking on the side in sky blue, Napoli, who they faced in last years’ group stages and this years’ opening matchweek.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men haven’t had an ideal start to the season – far from it actually, especially for the manager in question. With a supposed ‘player mutiny’ causing Chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis to fine the squad 25% of their monthly salary yesterday.

The farce began when players refused to attend a morale-boosting retreat in the aftermath of the 1-1 home draw with Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League.

They allegedly feared for their families safeties, but with the De Laurentiis imposing a club-wide media ban, their side of the story is yet to be released.

Liverpool, obviously in considerably less turmoil – well, no turmoil, utopia, are going for a fourth consecutive win to guarantee qualification as group winners.

Last time out for the Reds, they scraped a 2-1 win at home to KRC Genk, with Gini Wijnaldum and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seeing them through after Mbwana Samatta’s equaliser.

Team news

The visitors have full-back Kevin Malcuit out long-term (in turn, he is the only player to avoid the super-fine), and potentially Faouzi Ghoulam, Arkadiusz Milik and talisman skipper Lorenzo Insigne.

Liverpool should see the return of Mohamed Salah after Jurgen Klopp “wasn’t worried” about the 27 year-old’s availability. Kopites are likely to see Fabinho as the Brazilian is unavailable for the coming fixture with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Joel Matip and Nathaniel Clyne remain unavailable, and Xherdan Shaqiri is on the verge of a return in the coming weeks.

From the Dugout:

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp:

“I expect Napoli to be really strong for different reasons. Reason number one is that they are a sensationally good football team.

“Yes, they didn’t have the results in the last couple of weeks maybe like people expect. I have no idea about the reasons or whatever. We could read a little bit about things that happened there but now they are not in Italy, now they are in Liverpool, now it’s a different competition, now they feel maybe – I’m not sure – kind of relief that they can play completely free in a game like this.

“We have to exactly expect that and that’s what we do. So, whoever will play for Napoli will be an outstandingly strong player. If there’s any manager in the world who doesn’t need any advice from anybody – for sure, not from me – then it’s Carlo Ancelotti.

“Hopefully I will have a chat with him before the game, hopefully I will have a chat with him after the game. But none of them will be about what he could do differently.”

We are yet to hear anything from Carlo Ancelotti due to Napoli’s media ban.


Liverpool wins – 3

Draws – 1

Napoli wins – 3


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Sports Journalism student, streamer at LFC Transfer Room, Anfield Agenda. Liverpool fan with a particular interest in Welsh, Youth, and African football.

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