Liverpool vs Napoli
| Tuesday, November 1st |
Champions League | Anfield
8PM BST / 3PM EST
Liverpool have lost two Premier League games in a row for only the second season in the last six, Virgil van Dijk’s unblemished Anfield record has taken a dent, and look! It’s Europe’s most devastating high-intensity footballing side coming to town.
Napoli blew the doors off the Reds when the two met in Italy back in September, racing to a four-nil lead in the first half, but, to be fair, Napoli have blown the doors of many a side this fall. The Partneopei sit top of the Serie A with 32 points from 12 games and a +21 goal differential, and top of their Champions League group with five wins in five and a +16 goal difference.
In short, they are one of the three or four best teams in the world right now, with Luciano Spalletti molding a collection of talent into a highly dynamic and offensively devastating side, not entirely unlike Jürgen Klopp’s 2017/18 Reds.
Unless Spalletti decides to rest some of his starters, top scorers Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen should both feature from the beginning, giving Liverpool’s defenders plenty of work to do in their own backyard.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Gomez, Konaté, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott; Firmino, Núñez, Salah
For the Reds, Ibrahima Konaté is back in contention, and given Joe Gomez’s performance in Naples, is quite likely to get the start, although Gomez might push out to the right full-back position to give Trent Alexander-Arnold some rest. At any rate, Virgil van Dijk will start, as will Andy Robertson. Joël Matip remains unavailable.
In midfield, Naby Keïta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have not been registered for the group stage, so midfield will contain some combination of Fabinho, Thiago, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Harvey Elliott, with Thiago in particular likely to be crucial should Alexander-Arnold start on the bench.
Up top, Luis Díaz and Diogo Jota will not feature in Red until after the World Cup, leaving Roberto Firmino, Darwin Núñez and Mohamed Salah nailed on to start, unless Fabio Carvalho makes a surprise appearance in the XI.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “If you watch football, you will know that Napoli are in incredible shape. Maybe the in-form team in Europe at the moment. This is not a game for massive rotation.”
Luciano Spalletti (lying): “.Liverpool are in good shape. We must not let ourselves be fooled by their last game. I want my team to always try to play the ball. We’re going to need a huge performance“
The Officials (ESP)
Referee: Tobias Stieler
Assistant referees: Christian Gittelmann, Mark Borsch
Fourth official: Martin Petersen
VAR: Bastian Dankert, Fedayi San (SUI)
Kickoff is set for 8PM GMT/3PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.
In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.