Napoli vs Liverpool: Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Wednesday, October 3rd 2018, 14:00 UTC-5
Stadio San Paolo Naples
Last season’s Champions League runners-up Liverpool travel to Italy to face Napoli, who are coached by one of the competition’s greats, Carlo Ancelotti.
One of the Champions League’s most successful teams – Liverpool having won it and its predecessor the European Cup five times – visit the home of one of the competition’s most successful coaches. Carlo Ancelotti, appointed to replace Maurizio Sarri over the summer, has won the tournament three times as a manager – twice with Milan and once with Real Madrid – and lifted the trophy as a player too.
Liverpool were the opposition for one of those Milan victories but the roles were reversed in 2005, when it was Ancelotti’s Milan on the receiving end of a famous, painful defeat. More than a decade on and the travelling Liverpool supporters will no doubt remind the Italian of that night in Istanbul, but a home win might quieten them down somewhat.
The Reds have though started the 2018-19 campaign in great fashion, settling high in the early Premier League table while still producing the dynamic football for which Jurgen Klopp’s side has become famous. The brilliant front three of last season – Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane – have all hit the ground running, and the team as a whole looks more solid too.
Napoli have undergone a culture change, from the free-flowing Sarri-ball to Ancelotti’s interpretation of the game, still attractive but more traditional. It’s a new challenge for Ancelotti, too, after years with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Madrid. There he could assemble a collection of big name talents and get the best out of them; at Napoli, it’s going to be more about his tactical nous than the owner’s deep pockets. And Ancelotti’s made a good start too, with Napoli again fighting Juventus at the top of Serie A.
With two attack-minded teams looking for three vital points, goals are almost guaranteed. They’re almost too hard to split, with a 2-2 draw in the offing.
- Over 3.5 goals in the game
Whichever way the result goes, expect goals. It’s rare that either side fails to score in a game and with Liverpool’s front three, plus Napoli hitman Lorenzo Insigne, on the pitch, it could be a goal glut.
- Yes on Liverpool to score in both halves
It’d be in-keeping with Klopp’s general approach to see Liverpool start the game a house of fire and take an early lead. There’s enough ability on the pitch and the bench for Napoli to fight back, but Liverpool are relentless and play until the very final whistle.
1 x 2 Odds
Head to Head
Napoli have never beaten Liverpool. They met in the 2010 Europa League with a 0-0 draw in Italy and a 3-1 Liverpool win at Anfield, the only times the sides have faced each other competitively.
Summer 2018 also saw a friendly meeting between the teams, won 5-0 by Liverpool.
- Napoli had 20 shots on goal as they drew 0-0 with Red Star Belgrade in their opening Champions League game, compared to the 17 for Liverpool as they beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2.
- Only two players – Marius Wolf of Borussia Dortmund and Marcelo Brozovic of Inter – covered more ground in the first round of group games than Liverpool’s James Milner.
- Fabian Ruiz was Napoli’s busiest player, covering 11,695m compared to Milner’s 12,152m.
- No team attempted more passes than Napoli’s 825 in the first round of group games, but they had only the sixth-best completion rate.
- Liverpool attempted 531, completing 82% of them.