Ancelotti’s Napoli set to outfox in-form Reds

Liverpool will be wary of Napoli, which is managed by three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti when it plays at Stadio Sao Paolo on Wednesday.

Carlo Ancelotti will look for some respite after the recent 3-1 loss to Juventus in Serie A.   -  AP

Liverpool will look to continue its bright start to the season when it travels to Italy to face Napoli in a Champions League Group C encounter. Napoli, on the other hand, will look to bounce back from the 3-1 defeat it suffered against Juventus in Serie A.

Both sides have faced off twice before Wednesday’s game-- in the Europa League in 2010 which ended in a 3-1 aggregate win for the Reds. Jurgen Klopp’s previous visit to Naples was not a memorable one as the then Borussia Dortmund coach was sent off for his outburst at the referee as his side lost 2-1 to the Partenopei.

“I watched the second half with the groundsman in a little room last time. It was not my best performance. But it was my last time when I was a bit too excited. It won't happen again. I hope the groundsman is still here, that would be nice. We won't be able to say much. My Italian is the same as five years ago and I imagine his English and German is too,” Klopp said.

Carlo Ancelotti’s previous clash with Liverpool ended in 4-0 win on aggregate for his former team Real Madrid in 2014.

Read: Klopp urges Salah to stay 'relaxed'

Lorenzo Insigne’s contribution for Napoli has always been the key, but his inability to turn up on big occasions such as against Juventus will worry Ancelotti. Dries Mertens, alongside captain Marek Hamsik, have also a big task competing against the in-form duo of Virgil Van Djik and Joe Gomez.

Three goals from eight games is not something one would call Mohamed Salah-standards, but the Egyptian’s link-up with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino has yielded a combined 12 goals. Daniel Sturridge will be hoping for an extended cameo after his stunning strike against Chelsea helped Liverpool remain unbeaten in the league.

The momentum is clearly with Liverpool which beat PSG 3-2 at Anfield in its first game. Napoli will look get more than just a point after the goalless draw against Red Star Belgrade, but facing last season's finalist is a huge task.

 

Match Details:

Group C: Napoli vs Liverpool (Stadio Sao Paolo, Naples)

Kick-off : September 4, Thursday, 00:30 IST