Liverpool have toiled domestically this term, though last season’s beaten Champions League finalists remain one of the favourites to lift the continent’s biggest prize in 2022/23. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds face arguably their toughest test in Group A on matchday one at Napoli, however, and Liverpool will have to be at their best to beat Luciano Spalletti’s Partenopei.
I’ll have stats packs for as many games as I can this season, and you can find them all in the predictions tab. They have stats for goals, shots, corners and cards to boost your chances of a successful bet builder.
Diego Demme is laid low with a foot injury, while Napoli are also sweating on the availability of key attacking duo Hirving Lozano and Victor Osimhen.
Luciano Spalletti’s favoured 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 formation should match up well to Jurgen Klopp’s blueprint at Liverpool.
Liverpool are still missing a string of injured players, though perhaps their “crisis” has been overblown a smidgen, with few genuine first-teamers sidelined.
Robert Firmino and Darwin Nunez will once again vie for a starting berth in attack, while loanee Arthur might be drafted into midfield where his experience of Italian football could be key.
Unbeaten Napoli have started the Serie A season strongly with three wins and two draws from five fixtures. They are the division’s top scorers so far (12) and they hold healthy-looking shots (19.80) and xG for (2.40) figures per 90. They’ve also been robust defensively and no team in Italy’s top flight has a better xG against (1.08 p/90) since the summer.
Liverpool have been performing well in most metrics domestically this season without getting results to match. The Reds rank near the top of the Premier League for goals for (2.50), xG for (2.62), shots for (19.70), shots on target for (6.5) and corners for (7.67) per 90 without getting the rewards their numbers suggest they should be.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
€10m summer capture Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has been a revelation for Napoli since being plucked from relative obscurity in his homeland and the winger has been hitting more shots on target per 90 (2.11) than any of his more illustrious teammates so far.
Nigerian Victor Osimhen is the biggest name in Napoli’s attack, though the in-demand striker has been restricted to just 0.85 shots on target p/90 in Serie A.
Roberto Firmino (2.36) and Darwin Nunez (2.06) have been Liverpool’s most threatening forwards in the Premier League, according to the Reds’ shots on target per 90 figures, though the South American duo seem to be competing against each other for one position up front.
Mohamed Salah has been unusually peripheral in comparison, notching less than one effort (0.83) on target p/90 so far.
Player Goals and Assists
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (4) has been the standout performer in the goal-scoring department for Napoli this season and the 21-year-old has bagged twice as many goals as Victor Osimhen.
Polish schemer Piotr Zielinski will need to be tracked closely in midfield. The 28-year-old has already claimed three assists this season, the latest of which came in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Lazio.
Roberto Firmino has provided six goal contributions for Liverpool this season, though the Brazilian couldn’t make the difference against Everton on Saturday (0-0).
Mohamed Salah’s performances have been flat since the onset of the new campaign and the Egyptian has scored just once in his last five appearances for the Reds.
Combative forward Victor Osimhen (1.91 fouls p/90) likes to let defenders know he’s about, while both fullbacks, Giovanni Di Lorenzo (1.60) and Mario Rui (1.62), are also among the team’s snappiest tacklers and foulers. Expect Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz to have their ankles clipped.
Colombian winger Luis Diaz loves a slaloming run (3.22 dribbles per 90) and his willingness to run at defenders makes him a magnet for fouls (3.22 p/90).
Blossoming midfielder Harvey Elliott is also adept at beating opponents one-on-one (3.40 dribbles p90), however, at 19, he lacks physicality and is fouled regularly as a result (1.49 fouled p/90).
Match-Ups to watch
Giovanni Di Lorenzo vs Luiz Diaz
Mario Rui vs Mohamed Salah
Stanislav Lobotka vs Harvey Elliott
Liverpool’s team is light on hatchet-men and the Reds have consistently been among the Premier League’s most disciplined outfits in recent seasons.
Brazilian anchorman Fabinho (2.00 fouls per 90) is the side’s chief destroyer when the going gets tough however, while both Luis Diaz (1.69) and Darwin Nunez (1.05) can let their tempers get the better of them when pressure intensifies.
Virgil van Dijk hasn’t lacked his usual ice-cold composure this season, so watch out for some desperate lunges on Victor Osimhen if the Napoli frontman can break Liverpool’s offside trap with runs from deep.
Russian star Stanislav Lobotka is Napoli’s metronome in midfield and opposing teams often target him to limit his influence. The 27-year-old has been fouled 3.10 times per 90 minutes this season in Serie A.
Napoli flanksman, Matteo Politano (fouled 2.2 times per 90) has also been on the receiving end of some bruising hits this term, due in part to his playing style. The 29-year-old loves a dribble (6.11 per 90) and he will try to turn Andrew Robertson inside out.
Match-Ups to watch
Fabinho vs Stanislav Lobotka
Andrew Robertson vs Matteo Politano
Virgil van Dijk vs Victor Osimhen
Hopefully that helps you pick out that winning bet builder for tonight’s game. It’s no guarantee but it’ll sure boost your chances.
It’s a busy week of football with the return of the Champions League, so remember to stick to a budget and keep stakes low.