Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp Says He Expects A Tough Challenge From Napoli In Their Champions League Match On Wednesday Despite The Italian Club’s On And Off-field Problems.

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Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp Says He Expects A Tough Challenge From Napoli In Their Champions League Match On Wednesday Despite The Italian Club’s On And Off-field Problems.

The winners of the Group E tie at Anfield will qualify for the last 16.

But Napoli have not won in six games and their players are set to be fined by the club’s president for not attending a training camp this month.

“I expect Napoli to be really strong for a number of reasons,” said Klopp.

“They are a really good football team and now they’re not in Italy, they feel maybe relief they can play in this game. We have to be ready for that.

“Napoli gave us a proper fight at Anfield last season [in a 1-0 win for Liverpool].

“We have to make sure from the first second this is a different place. We want to go as far as possible in the Champions League. Napoli are experienced, tactically strong, super players.”

The Reds will be without central defender Joel Matip because of a knee injury, although forward Mohamed Salah, an unused substitute in the 2-1 Premier League win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, has been training this week.

Reigning European champions Liverpool lost 2-0 to Napoli in Italy in September, but have since recorded three wins to sit top of Group E on nine points, one point ahead of the Italians in second.

Carlo Ancelotti
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times as a manager – twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid

However, Napoli have not won since their 3-2 victory at Red Bull Salzburg in October, drawing five times and losing once.

This month, club president Aurelio de Laurentiis ordered the team to attend a week-long training camp, but manager Carlo Ancelotti and his players returned home after a 1-1 draw, again with Red Bull Salzburg.

https://www.bbc.com

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport said De Laurentiis was now set to fine the club’s players a quarter of their monthly wages.

“Whatever has happened, I don’t have a real idea,” added Klopp. “But if I was a player, I’d be trying to bring the group together and fight the things from outside.

“We will try to win, it would be massive for us for different reasons. We don’t feel like we are already halfway through.”

If Red Bull Salzburg fail to win at Genk in the other Group E game then Liverpool will qualify for the last 16, even if they lose to Napoli.

The Reds are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, having only dropped two points all season, while Napoli are seventh in Serie A, 15 points behind leaders Juventus.

Match facts

Head-to-head

  • Liverpool have won both their home European games against Napoli, winning 3-1 in the 2010-11 Europa League and 1-0 in last season’s Champions League.
  • Napoli won 2-0 against Liverpool on matchday one of this season’s Champions League. Only two teams have ever won home and away against the reigning champions in the group stages – Ajax against AC Milan in 1994-95 and CSKA Moscow against Real Madrid in 2018-19.

Liverpool

  • Liverpool have won six of their seven home European Cup/Champions League games against Italian opposition – the exception was a 2-1 defeat by Fiorentina in December 2009 under Rafael Benitez.
  • Since losing 2-0 to Napoli on matchday one, Liverpool have won each of their last three Champions League games – the Reds have not won four consecutively since March 2009.
  • Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored in his last two Champions League appearances – the only Englishman to score in three in a row for the Reds is Steven Gerrard (five in a row in 2007-08).
  • Manager Jurgen Klopp has lost three Champions League games against Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti, his joint-most against an opposing manager along with Arsene Wenger. However, Klopp has won both home games against Ancelotti (Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Real Madrid in 2014 and Liverpool 1-0 Napoli in 2018).
  • Man City 1-1 Shakhtar Donetsk City Top Group Despite Under-Par Draw

Napoli

  • In European competition, this will be Napoli’s 10th away match in England – they have won none of their previous nine (D1, L8), facing six different English teams in that time (Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Leeds United, Liverpool and Manchester City).
  • Jose Callejon created 11 chances in their 1-1 draw with Red Bull Salzburg on matchday four – the most by a player in a Champions League match since Mesut Ozil created 12 for Real Madrid against Tottenham in April 2011.
  • Ancelotti was the last manager to win an away Champions League match at Anfield against Liverpool, leading Real Madrid to a 3-0 win in October 2014. No manager has won more away Champions League games in England than Ancelotti (three – level with Jose Mourinho and Massimiliano Allegri).
  • This is Napoli’s 82nd away match in a major European competition – they’ve only managed consecutive away victories once, winning three in a row in November 2015 in the Europa League.

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp Says He Expects A Tough Challenge From Napoli In Their Champions League Match On Wednesday Despite The Italian Club’s On And Off-field Problems.

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