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Napoli vs Liverpool - Champions League Group Stage

Published on: 03/10/2018

Napoli vs Liverpool - Champions League Group Stage

October 3, 2017 20:00pm - Stadio San Paolo

Champions League Group Stage

The man who transformed Napoli into an attacking forces described by Pep Guardiola as "the best team I have played against" may have gone but Maurizio Sarri`s replacement is a man who knows his way round European competition better than most.

Carlo Ancelotti won the European Cup twice as has already won it three times as a coach alongside 14 other major trophies. However, the Napoli job represents a new challenge for the former Milan boss. For the first time since joining Parma in 1996, he has taken over a club that has not won either a domestic title or European trophy in recent years. Napoli came agonisingly close to snatching the Serie A title last season but Juventus once again proved too strong in the crucial moments.

Ancelotti had a hard act to follow and has had a mixed start. The Partenopei have already lost twice in the league, they only lost three in the whole of last season, and could only manage a 0-0 draw in the Champions League opener against Red Star Belgrade. However, they remain strong at home and there will be a stirring reception awaiting Liverpool on Wednesday night.

The Reds are used to big European nights so the atmosphere at the San Paolo will not faze them. They arrive as strong favourites after an unbeaten start in the Premier League and a 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in this competitionÂ’s opener at Anfield.

Last weekend, they held Sarri`s Chelsea to a 0-0 draw away from home, thanks to a late wonder goal from Daniel Sturridge. That result that kept them level on points with reigning champions Manchester City. Prior to that, a much changed side was dumped out of the League Cup after losing 2-1 at home in the first of their two meetings against Chelsea that week.

By reaching the final last season and the Europa Cup final two years ago, Liverpool have shown they are back to being genuine contenders on the European stage. Meanwhile, Napoli have won just five of their last 15 matches in the competition and none against a team of Liverpool`s stature.

Recent form (all competitions)

Napoli: LWWDW

Liverpool: DLWWW

Betting odds and tips

Liverpool bagged a 0-0 draw on their last visit to Naples in 2010 with a team featuring Paul Konchesky, Christian Poulsen, Jay Spearing and David NÂ’Gog, and managed Roy Hodgson.

They will start as clear favourites here but Ancelotti will set out to frustrate the Reds and another drawn is not out of the question. However, the away side should be expected to edge it.

You can back Liverpool to win at 23/20.

By Neil Morris

Published on: 03/10/2018

Any odds displayed within this preview were correct at the time of publishing (03/10/2018 08:58:31) but are subject to change.