Riise wants Reds to rise to occasion

Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti are set for an intriguing tactical battle when Liverpool hosts Napoli, says ex-Red John Arne Riise.

Published : Dec 11, 2018 22:47 IST

Mohamed Salah in action against Napoli.
Mohamed Salah in action against Napoli.

Mohamed Salah in action against Napoli.

John Arne Riise wants Liverpool to put its disappointing Champions League form behind it and rise to the occasion in Tuesday's must-win showdown with Napoli.

Defeat in Naples and subsequent reverses on the road versus Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germain means Jurgen Klopp's side is outside the qualification places heading into the final round of fixtures in Group C.

Former Reds full-back Riise was part of the Liverpool side that plotted a surprise path to European glory back in 2005 and hopes Jurgen Klopp's Premier League leader will thrive under the pressure.

"I've been really disappointed with the three away games in the Champions League, I think we underperformed, we didn't play the football we know we can," Riise, speaking at Golazio London, told Omnisport.

"I don't know why but it sometimes happens and we still have a chance to qualify. I think it's going to be an electric atmosphere at Anfield."

In the event of a PSG win in Belgrade, Liverpool must win 1-0 or by two-clear goals – placing a premium on its defensive efforts.

"I've been in that situation many times myself," Riise said. "We concede and we need three goals and not two goals. But just start the game, see how it goes and hopefully get a good start. If we get 1-0 up early we can make [dictate] tactics. If we concede early then we have to change the tactics, so it all depends on the first 15-20 minutes."

READ | Klopp calls for electric Anfield atmosphere against Napoli

Riise went on to ply his trade in Serie A for Roma after leaving Liverpool and is relishing the tactical battle between Klopp and Napoli's three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti.

"Everybody's different and Ancelotti's record speaks for itself," he added. "He is an unbelievable manager with so many great results. He's a tactician and he gets the best out of every player. That's his way of doing it.

"Klopp is something else but everybody is respected highly for what they've achieved in their career. It's going to be a tactical masterclass from Ancelotti to avoid them getting beaten.

"Klopp [has to] really get his team fired up to score enough goals, so it's not only on the pitch that there is a fight but also off the pitch between the managers - who is going to have the right tactics and who is going to be successful?"

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