Liverpool are lurching from crisis to crisis domestically, however, the Reds continue to look the part in the Champions League where qualification for the next phase has been secured with a game to spare. However, their skirmish with Napoli this evening on matchday six in Group A is anything but a dead rubber. The Reds will be keen to exact some revenge for their humbling defeat in Naples back in September, however, beating Luciano Spalletti’s powerful Partenopei won’t be an easy task.
As per the usual routine, we’ve put a stats pack together for this evening’s game below which is packed to bursting with info on shots, xG, cards, corners, fouls and more from the sides’ domestic seasons to date. Use our data and my Stats Pack Guide to pick strong bet builder selections.
Liverpool are still without Arthur, Joel Matip, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this evening.
Joe Gomez’s position at centre-half could be under threat following his horror show against Leeds on Saturday evening. Jurgen Klopp has been deploying Liverpool in a 4-3-1-2 formation in recent weeks and that structure could make an appearance again here.
Amir Rrahmani and Salvatore Sirigu are both in the treatment room for Napoli. Juan Jesus or Leo Ostigard should start at centre-half in Rrahmani’s absence.
Luciano Spalletti has a decision to make at centre-forward where Victor Osimhen, Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori are all vying to start.
Liverpool’s underlying stats for the Premier League campaign and their actual position in the table don’t seem to marry, and the Reds dropped down to ninth position at the weekend following a second defeat on the spin to a member of the division’s bottom three (1-2 vs Leeds).
The Reds have been peppering teams with more attempts in the Champions League per 90 (19) than in the Premier League (17.7), while the number of shots they’ve been conceding at the other end in both competitions has been similar (9.58 EPL, 9.00 UCL). Liverpool allowed Napoli to rack up 18 attempts when the teams met in September, however.
Napoli have yet to taste defeat in Italy or on the continent this season and the Partenopei have won an insane 13 matches on the spin in all competitions ahead of their trip to Anfield.
Usurpingly, the Serie A leaders have been posting superb figures in the goals (2.50), xG (2.44), shots for (19.10) per 90 stakes in their homeland, while their 2.75 shots against p/90 tally is also remarkably low.
In the Champions League, Napoli have been averaging a sizable 19.2 shots per game in Group A and no other team in the tournament has been able to match their 20-goal output after five matches.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Darwin Nunez continues to be a numbers machine in the shots department for Liverpool in both the Premier and Champions League, where the Uruguayan has been hitting 6.67 and 5.1 shots per 90 respectively.
Mohamed Salah, who clocked ten attempts in his last two appearances combined against Ajax and Leeds, has been racking up 4.3 attempts per 90 in the Champions League.
Interestingly, Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk had three attempts on goal in Amsterdam last week. The 31-year-old has struck 2.2 shots per 90 overall in the UCL and the centre-half should be priced generously in the markets today.
Napoli have scored a staggering 50 goals in 17 Serie A and Champions League fixtures this season and there are several excellent options to consider from their ranks in the shot markets at Anfield.
Victor Osimhen (5.15 shots per 90), Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (3.52). Hirving Lozano (3.95) and Piotr Zielinski (2.51) have all offered plenty of threat in Italy, and that quartet racked up 11 attempts between them when Napoli hammered Liverpool in September.
In the Champions League, Georgian sensation Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has been head and shoulders above his teammates in terms of output. The 21-year-old has been averaging 4.3 shots per game in the tournament so far.
Player Goals and Assists
Darwin Nunez is finally starting to find the net with consistency for Liverpool and the 23-year-old has plundered four goals in his last six appearances in all competitions.
Mohamed Salah’s goal against Leeds on Saturday was his sixth in as many appearances for the Reds and the Egyptian has also notched six times in his last four runouts in the Champions League.
Salah, Nunez and Harvey Elliott were all on target when Liverpool beat Ajax 3-0 on matchday five in Group A.
Victor Osimhen scored his first-ever Serie A hattrick in Napoli’s last assignment against Sassuolo at the weekend and though the Nigerian tops the charts domestically for the Partenopei, the 23-year-old has been outshone by many of his teammates in the Champions League.
Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori have both scored four times in each in the competition, while Piotr Zielinski and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have five goal contributions each.
Zielinski finished the game with two goals and an assist when Napoli ran riot against Liverpool in September.
Fabinho (1.54 fouls p/90) should be a busy man at the base of Liverpool’s midfield this evening, just as he was against Napoli in September. The Brazilian made three tackles, committed one foul but avoided a booking in Naples, though he might not be quite so lucky this time around.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez have collected two Premier League and one Champions League card each this term and both defenders are shaky enough to be drawn into more mistimed challenges later today.
Napoli Cards Drawn
Winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (fouled 1.65 times p/90) left Alexander-Arnold dazed and confused when Napoli tore Liverpool asunder in September and the Reds fullback will be under pressure to produce a more competitive display in this evening’s rematch.
Victor Osimhen has the pace to really put Joe Gomez on edge and the Liverpool centre-half could be drawn into a panicky lunge or two in a desperate attempt to shackle the striker’s runs.
André-Frank Zambo Anguissa has been Napoli’s most-fouled player in the Champions League this term (2.30 p/90) and the Cameroonian midfielder’s duel with Fabinho has the potential to produce cards in both directions.
Match-Ups to watch
Fabinho vs André-Frank Zambo Anguissa
Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
Joe Gomez vs Victor Osimhen
15 different Napoli players have been booked in Serie A this season, though only Tanguy Ndombele has been carded more than once, while the story makes for similar reading the Champions League, where seven separate players have been cautioned with Matteo Politano the only one to collect two yellows.
Juan Jesus committed three fouls and picked up a booking on his only Champions League appearance of the campaign on matchday four against Ajax and the Brazilian defender could be a solid choice again if he starts later on.
Mario Rui (1.0 foul per game in UCL) has also been carded in the Champions League this term and is also worth watching, while André-Frank Zambo Anguissa has a tendency to get over-physical in midfield at times. He’s been committing 1.3 fouls per 90 minutes in Europe this season.
Liverpool Cards Drawn
Darwin Nunez (fouled 0.62 times p/90) has a gladiatorial streak and sparks could fly when the Uruguayan clashes with Brazilian defender Juan Jesus this evening.
Mohamed Salah has the skill and speed to stretch Napoli’s Mario Rui and the Portuguese left-back could have an uncomfortable time against the in-form Egyptian.
Youngster Harvey Elliott (fouled 1.38 times p/90) has a few bumps and bruised from some hefty challenges this season and he could add to his collection of knocks if André-Frank Zambo Anguissa comes into his orbit.
Match-Ups to watch
Juan Jesus vs Darwin Nunez
Mario Rui vs Mohamed Salah
André-Frank Zambo Anguissa vs Harvey Elliott