Big Game Focus: Napoli v Liverpool

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Liverpool begin their defence of the Champions League with a difficult trip to Napoli tonight. The Reds won the tournament for the sixth time in June with a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. The Italians will be out to repeat last season 1-0 win in the group stage. Can the Partenopei beat the champions? Bet on the Champions League here. 

Napoli were unfortunate to be eliminated in the group stage last season. A sensational save by Liverpool Alisson Becker was what stood between the Italians and the last 16. Last season, they defeated Liverpool at the Stadio San Paolo in a cagey group stage meeting which saw a combined five shots on target. With an experienced Carlo Ancelotti is at the helm, Napoli should be a real problem for the Reds, who’ve started their league season with five wins out of five.

Liverpool struggled away from home in last season’s Champions League against bigger opposition, including today’s hosts. Will things be different tonight?

Betting preview

Napoli have lost just once at home in their last seven Champions League matches. They’re also unbeaten in four matches, winning three of those games. Liverpool have lost five of their last seven matches away from home in this competition. They also lost all their three away games in last season’s group stage. Therefore, you can back a Home Double Chance at odds of 1.60. 

Napoli’s three Serie A games this season have seen a staggering 16 goals. Two of the three matches have seen seven goals each. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s last six matches have seen three or more goals scored. For that reason, you can back Over 2.5 Goals at odds of 1.65.  

Sadio Mane has recently become Jurgen Klopp’s go-to man. The Senegal international has been in sensational form in the competition. He has 14 goals in 24 games in the Champions League. He has also scored six goals in his last five appearances for the Reds. Odds of 2.60 for Sadio Mane as Anytime Goalscorer are appealing. 

Team news

Divock Origi missed out on Liverpool's 20-man squad which travelled to Italy, following his injury suffered against Newcastle, with Alisson, Naby Keita and Nathaniel Clyne missing out with long-term injuries. The fitness of left-back Andy Robertson will be assessed before kick-off.

Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik looks likely to miss out, having been absent since suffering a muscle injury in mid-August. However, Lorenzo Insigne, who scored against the Reds when the two sides met last season may feature.

Possible line-ups

Napoli: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Rui, Callejón, Ruiz, Elmas, Zielinski, Lozano, Mertens.

Liverpool: Adrián, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mané.