Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli host Liverpool in Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League cracker at the Stadio San Paolo. The hosts lie second in Serie A having won five of their opening games, with two defeats. The Italian side have a solitary point, having been held to a goalless draw by Red Star Belgrade in their opening tie of the group stages. These three points could be crucial to making it to the knockout stages and Napoli can ill afford any further slip ups.
Liverpool lie second in the Premier league and have won six of seven matches, while drawing away to Chelsea last weekend. They were also in great form in the opening tie, beating PSG 3-2 in a hotly contested match at Anfield. They will be looking to pick up three more points to drive their campaign forward.
Liverpool have made the stronger start of the two sides. They lost 2-1 to Chelsea in the League cup but have had strong showings in and have the rest of their matches. They beat Tottenham and PSG in consecutive games, as well as seeing off a number of premier league sides easily.
Napoli vs Liverpool TIP: both team to score
Napoli have been in mixed form. Despite winning five of their games, they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Sampdoria and 3-1 by Juventus. Thankfully for Napoli, these results, as well as the draw with Red Star Belgrade, were attained away from home. In their home games, they have beaten Fiorentina, AC Milan and Parma. They are also accustomed to scoring in the Champions League, and have found the net in 26 of their last 29 games.
Despite Liverpool’s form, they have struggled in away ties in the Champions League. Their impressive march to the final last season featured only three wins from six games. They have also only won five away games from their last fourteen in the competition. Napoli could capitalize on home advantage to come away with an important win.
Neither of the two sides have any major injury concerns. Vlad Chiriches and Georgino Wijnaldum might prove to be important misses for either side. Mohamed Salah was withdrawn from the tie with Chelsea early, with Liverpool still trailing. Nonetheless, the Reds will still be formidable if English forward Daniel Sturridge continues his goalscoring streak. Dries Mertens and Roberto Firmino could also decide the tie. The two danger men having been involved in 9 and 18 goals for their respective sides in their short stints in the Champions League.