Napoli vs Liverpool
| Wednesday, September 7th |
Champions League | Diego Armando Maradona Stadium
8PM BST / 3PM EST
After a slow start to the season, both in terms of fixture congestion and results, Liverpool’s 2022/23 kicks off for real tomorrow night, with the return of Champions League football, where the Reds take on their, on paper, most difficult challenge immediately, traveling to Naples to face off with Napoli.
The Partenopei have started their season well, with three wins and two draws from their first five games, placing them second in the Serie A table, although they slowed down somewhat after scoring seven goals in their opening two matches.
The Reds have never won in Naples, drawing once and losing twice in three attempts since 2010, and matches against the Italians have traditionally been taut, tense affairs with few goals and big, decisive moments.
Coach Luciano Spalletti boasts a healthy squad, and fans can expect to see both last year’s top scorer Victor Osimhen and this season’s breakthrough star, former Liverpool target Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in the starting XI.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Elliott; Díaz, Núñez, Salah
Unlike his opposite number, Jürgen Klopp has some injury issues to contend with, and although some players were back in training today, many others remain unavailable.
At the back, Trent Alexander-Arnold should start, alongside Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson, as Ibrahima Konaté remains out with a leg injury and Joël Matip has yet to force his way past Gomez.
Thiago is back in training and might feature, but Jordan Henderson remains on the sidelines with the hamstring injury he suffered last week, while Naby Keïta, Curtis Jones and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all miss out, so a line-up featuring Fabinho and Harvey Elliott alongside the Spanish playmaker seems all but guaranteed.
Up top, Klopp can call on all his best players, but whether the spearhead abilities of Darwin Núñez and Diogo Jota are preferred to the interstitial movement and passing of Roberto Firmino remains uncertain. At least one of Luis Díaz and Mohamed Salah are all but guaranteed to start, however.
What the Managers Said
Jürgen Klopp: “.”
Luciano Spalletti: “The atmosphere surrounding the Champions League is fantastic. We’ll give our all and deliver a performance worthy of the Champions League. We set out to win every game we play in.“
The Officials (ESP)
Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande
Assistant referees: Pau Cebrián Devís, Guadalupe Porras Ayuso
Fourth official: Cesar Soto Grado
VAR: Alejandro Hernández, Xavier Estrada Fernandez
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.