Champions League: Napoli vs. Liverpool team news, predictions, TV and live stream details
Jurgen Klopp’s side return to a stadium where they lost last season
Napoli vs. Liverpool
- What: Uefa Champions League group E, matchday one
- When: Tuesday 17 September
- Where: Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy
- Kick-off time: 8pm (BST)
- TV channel and live stream: live on BT Sport 2
Liverpool begin their Champions League defence with a trip to a stadium where they were defeated in the group stage last season.
Napoli beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Stadio San Paolo in March 2018 thanks to Lorenzo Insigne’s 90th-minute goal and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is wary that the Italians will again pose a tough test on Tuesday night.
He said: “Last year we learned from one game to the next game and this year we have to use that experience because if you don’t defend with all we have then we have no chance against Napoli, they are so strong.
“They are stubborn in a very positive way; they play football, they break lines, they have counter-attacks, they are creative.
“There are so many good football things and I enjoy analysing Napoli when I watch them, it’s really interesting. But it’s not only interesting, it’s difficult as well.”
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti is expected an exciting game. He said: “We’re playing the best team in Europe and they haven’t dropped any points in the Premier League yet.
“Liverpool have improved because winning the Champions League gives you belief. Napoli have improved too, though, and we’ve bolstered our squad with the addition of some quality players. I think it will be a great game - hard fought and intense.”
FC Red Bull Salzburg take on KRC Genk in the other group E game (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 4).
TV and live stream details
Team news and starting XIs
Napoli team news
Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik has been out with an abdominal injury but he could return to face Liverpool, Football Italia reports. However, right-back Elseid Hysaj is likely to be ruled out.
Liverpool team news
Last season’s Champions League hero Divock Origi misses the clash because of an ankle injury. The striker did not travel to Italy so teenager Rhian Brewster joins the squad.
Left-back Andy Robertson will have a fitness test but goalkeeper Alisson Becker, midfielder Naby Keita and right-back Nathaniel Clyne remain sidelined.
How the teams could line up
- Napoli possible starting XI (4-2-3-1): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Rui; Zielinski, Allan; Lozano, Fabian, Insigne; Mertens
- Liverpool possible starting XI (4-3-3): Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Napoli vs. Liverpool predictions
Joe Krishnan, London Evening Standard
“The Reds will know how tough it is to come to the San Paolo and take three points back to Merseyside with them after their defeat here last year. It’s fair to say that the Reds have improved since then and have been clinical in front of goal of late, scoring three goals in their last three games. But Napoli are a tough side to beat on their day with the presence of Kalidou Koulibaly at the back and the talents of Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens up front. A score draw would be a favourable result for the Reds for the return fixture later in the competition. Prediction: Napoli 1-1 Liverpool.”
Ben Miller, SportsMole
“With or without plush changing rooms, Liverpool may feel some relief that they are navigating their rendezvous with Napoli at the start of their Champions League defence. [Carlo] Ancelotti and his players are aiming to win the Scudetto this season - a lofty ambition given Juventus’s dominance, but one that demonstrates their confidence and the quality they can call upon. A point apiece would suit both sides in a group which, without demeaning Red Bull and Genk, is most likely to finish with these two at the top. Prediction: Napoli 1-1 Liverpool.”
Roger Gonzalez, CBS Sports
“Sadio Mane scores, Roberto Firmino gets another and the Reds win on the road. Pick: Napoli 1 Liverpool 2.”
Mohamed Moallim, Squawka
“Liverpool struggled on their European travels last season. Klopp’s men suffered four defeats across 12 Champions League outings - minus the final which took place on neutral ground - with all of those coming on the road. Three of which came in the group phase including at Napoli who could not capitalise on that win as they were dumped into the Europa League. The Reds have been in scintillating form and should pose the Italian outfit a few problems but this being the first game and neither keen on losing, expect a tense affair that could be decided by a single lapse in concentration. We feel the spoils will be shared. Scoreline prediction: Napoli 1-1 Liverpool.”
Tuesday 17 September fixtures
- FC Red Bull Salzburg vs. KRC Genk (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 4)
- Napoli vs. Liverpool (8pm, live on BT Sport 2)
- Inter Milan vs. Slavia Prague (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 1)
- Borussia Dortmund vs. Barcelona (8pm, live on BT Sport ESPN)
- Lyon vs. Zenit St Petersburg (5.55pm live on BT Sport ESPN)
- Benfica vs. RB Leipzig (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 3)
- Ajax vs. Lille (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 2)
- Chelsea vs. Valencia (8pm, live on on BT Sport 3 and BT Sport Ultimate)
Wednesday 18 September fixtures
- Club Brugge vs. Galatasaray (5.55pm live on BT Sport 1)
- Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid (8pm, live on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport Ultimate)
- Olympiakos vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5.55pm, live on BT Sport 2)
- Bayern Munich vs. Red Star Belgrade (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 2)
- Dinamo Zagreb vs. Atalanta (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 3)
- Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Manchester City (8pm, live on BT Sport 3)
- Atlético Madrid vs. Juventus (8pm, live on BT Sport ESPN)
- Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (8pm, live on BT Sport Extra 4)