LIV vs NAP Dream11: Liverpool will be looking to clinch a spot in the last-16 of the UEFA Champions League when they host Napoli at Anfield. The reigning European champions are sitting at the top having won three times in the last four games, with their only defeat coming against the Naples in the opening game.
Both the teams are favourite to qualify for the next round, but a defeat for tithe team will force the matters into the last round, something Jurgen Klopp would want to avoid. Napoli will come into this game with same intent but their form is a cause for concern, with rumours circulating in the Italian media that Carlo Ancelotti could even lose his job if the fortunes don’t change in the next couple of weeks.
Competition: UEFA Champions League group stage
Match Venue: Anfield
Match Timing: Thursday 28, @01:30 AM
Sony Sports Network has the exclusive right to broadcast UEFA Champions League matches in India.
Liverpool‘s front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are the no-nonsense choices in any Liverpool game. Mane, in particular, would be the ideal choice here, considering the form he is in these days. Salah is always a goal threat, while Firmino guarantees points due to his style of play.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has scored three of Liverpool’s last six goals in the Champions League and will be looking to add more here.
Mire was expected from Hirving Lozano when he made a big-money switch from PSV Eindhoven in the summer. But his less than convincing impact is mostly down to the fact that he has played out of position at times. He is a danger all day long.
Fabian Ruiz was man-of-the-match in the reverse fixture and the Spaniard will be looking for another starry display here and show the world that the hype surrounding him is real.
Head to head:
Liverpool team news: Jurgen Klopp gave an update regarding Joel Matip, revealing that Cameroon centre-back has made a good recovery in his knee injury, and is nearing a return.Although, this game or even the weekend’s home game against Brighton & Hove Albion will be too soon for him at this stage. RIght-back Nathaniel Clyne remains a long-term injury absentee.
Injuries easing up!
Mohamed Salah, who scored the all-important goal against Napoli last season, is expected to be fit to start this game. The Egyptian superstar remained an unused substitute as Liverpool clinched a 1-2 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Xherdan Shaqiri is also back to full fitness and should get into Liverpool’s matchday squad. Midfielder Naby Keita is also fit and could be involved in this game.
Fabinho will be suspended for Liverpool’s next assignment in the Premier League and so will be starting game. But changes could still happen in the midfield. With Salah returning to the playing 11, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may drop down to the bench, or he could start in a deeper role in the midfield.
Dejan Lovren will once again partner Virgil Van Dijk at the back, though Joe Gomez remains an option. Andy Robertson declared himself fit and will take over his usual role in the playing 11.
Napoli team news: Napoli frets over the fitness of their talisman and captain Lorenzo Insigne, who is suffering from an elbow injury of late. He is only five goals short of breaking the club’s all-time goalscoring record of 121.
Arkadiusz Milik is also a doubt for the match as he is down with stomach problem. Carlo Ancelotti could do with his services after he scored five of Napoli’s last seven goals. In addition, Kevin Malcuit is a long-term absentee due to ligament damage.
Hirving Lozano will partner Dries Mertens in the attack, provided Insigne is not fit to start the game. Elif Elmas will also be in the starting 11 if Milik misses the game.
Liverpool: Alisson (GK), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren, Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane
Napoli: Alex Meret (GK), Di Lorenzo, Kostas Manolas, Kalidou Koulibaly, Hysaj, Callejon, Allan, Elmas, Fabian Ruiz, Lozano, Mertens
Liverpool have kept only one clean sheet in the last eight Premier League games, and it shows that the Reds are not the same at the back they were last year. Napoli are more than capable of taking advantage of Liverpool’s uncertainty at the back, but a win for Liverpool is our call.