Group C: How Things Stand
Napoli, who have never won in England in six visits, are currently in first place in the group with nine points, followed by Paris Saint-Germain who are on eight points, with Liverpool in third with six points. Crvena zvezda, a.k.a. Red Star Belgrade, are not in contention for the knockout stage and are on four points.
The Reds need to beat Napoli 1-0 or by two goals in order to progress while Napoli only need to draw in order to move on to the knockout stage. In the unlikely event that PSG are beaten by Red Star, Napoli will still progress even if they succumb to defeat at Anfield.
Liverpool vs Napoli: Previous meetings
Before this season’s UCL group stage match two, where Napoli beat Liverpool 1 - 0 at the Stadio San Paolo in the 90th minute, the two clubs had only met twice in Europe. Those two games took place in the 2010-11 Europa League group stage with the match in Naples ending in a 0 - 0 draw. Steven Gerrard’s hat-trick in the final 15 minutes won the match at Anfield and the Reds finished top of their group with Napoli finishing in second place.
Napoli later went out of the competition in the Round of 32 while the Reds were eliminated in the Round of 16.
Napoli also of course visited Anfield during pre-season this past summer, when they were thumped by five goals to zero on 4 August 2018.
Liverpool’s Champions League Form
Liverpool have lost five of their last seven fixtures in the Champions League, with all five of those losses taking place away from home. However, the Reds are unbeaten in their last 18 European home matches, winning 13 and drawing five since losing 3-0 to Real Madrid on 22 October, 2014. Liverpool have played an Italian side 28 times in Europe resulting in a record of ten wins, five draws, and 13 losses.
This season, Liverpool beat Paris Saint-Germain 3 - 2 on match day one, lost 1 - 0 away from home at Napoli, thrashed Red Star 4 - 0 at Anfield before losing 2 - 0 at Red Star’s Rajko Mitić Stadium, and most recently the Reds lost 1 - 2 to PSG at Parc des Princes.
This is Liverpool’s second consecutive group stage campaign in the UCL after having featured only once in the previous seven.
Napoli’s Champions League Form
Napoli have won two and drawn three and are unbeaten in this season’s UCL competition. They drew 0 - 0 against Red Star on the first day of the group stages and beat the Serbian side 3 - 1 in Italy on matchday five. They beat Liverpool at the Stadio San Paolo, followed by a 2 - 2 draw away at PSG and 1 - 1 draw in the return leg.
Napoli are playing in the group stage for the fifth time and reached the Round of 16 in 2011/12 and 2016/17. They went on to the UEFA Europa League round of 32 after finishing third in their group last season, where they were knocked out by RB Leipzig.
Gli Azzuri have lost on their last three visits to England and four of their last six in the UEFA Champions League. Most recently they lost 2 - 1 to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in 2017.
Liverpool vs Napoli: Interesting Trivia
Napoli are the eighth club that Carlo Ancelotti has coached in the UCL. He has previously coached Parma, Juventus, A.C. Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. Ancelotti is one of only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League three times (twice with Milan and once with Real Madrid), and one of only two to have managed teams in four finals.
Liverpool vs Napoli: The Players
Who have played in Italy:
Alisson Becker (Roma 2016–18)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Inter 2015)
Who have played in England:
Vlad Chiricheș (Tottenham 2013–15)
David Ospina (Arsenal 2014–18)
Who have played together:
Sadio Mané & Kalidou Koulibaly (Metz 2011/12)
Georginio Wijnaldum & Dries Mertens (PSV Eindhoven 2011–13)
Fabinho & José Callejón, Raúl Albiol (Real Madrid 2012/13)
Divock Origi, Simon Mignolet & Dries Mertens (Belgium)
Sadio Mané & Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal)
Alberto Moreno, José Callejón & Raúl Albiol (Spain)
Dejan Lovren & Marko Rog (Croatia)
A European night under the Anfield lights awaits. Here’s to Liverpool showing their mettle at home in form reminiscent of their pre-season friendly and thrashing Gli Azzuri to take their rightful place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.