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Liverpool Champions League Group Tiebreakers Explained

Can Liverpool leapfrog Napoli and top Champions League Group A? Probably not but maybe.

Football, Champions League: SSC Napoli vs Liverpool FC Photo by Cesare Purini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Liverpool’s 2022-23 season so far has been a wildly inconsistent ride, with far more lows than highs in the Premier League but a largely successful showing in Europe, where they qualified for the Champions League knockout rounds with a game to spare and now take on Group A leaders Napoli in the final game of the group stage.

The question for many, then, will be whether Jürgen Klopp’s Reds can leapfrog past Luciano Spalletti’s Azzurri, who currently hold a three point edge, and finish first in the group with a win. The short answer is probably not. The long answer is also probably not. But with both clubs likely focused on weekend games against Tottenham and Atalanta respectively, there’s always a chance something strange could happen.

So, let’s break down the tiebreakers.

1. Head-to-head points

If Liverpool win, this is a draw and we move on.

2. Head-to-head goal difference

Napoli are +3 here thanks to a 4-1 win in their first meeting, meaning Liverpool would need to win by +4 which is a lot, but a 4-0 or 5-1 win would do it.

3. Head-to-head goals scored

Napoli are +4 here so Liverpool would need +5, which could happen with, eg., a 5-2 victory that would have the two sides level on goal difference. A 3-0 Liverpool victory would see them lose this tiebreaker.

4. Overall goal difference

Napoli have a seven goal edge here, and if Liverpool end up with +7 against Napoli to close the gap they’ll win the second tiebreaker and we won’t get this far—and if we do get this far by way of a 4-1 Liverpool victory, the Reds lose out.

As any other result wouldn’t get Liverpool as far as the fourth tiebreaker and the only one that would—a 4-1 victory—would see them lose it, any subsequent tiebreakers won’t come into play but for anyone curious they’re overall goals scores, overall away goals, overall wins, away wins, the superior disciplinary points record, and then finally UEFA coefficient.

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