All eyes turn to Anfield as Liverpool are set to host Napoli in Group C of the UEFA champions league in what is definitely the showdown game of the final gameweek before the knockout round.
The Reds could still finish in any position from first to bottom of the Group but know that only a win will do against Napoli if they are to stand any chance of reaching the last 16.
If there ever was a time called ‘desperate’ , it is now as Liverpool are aware that anything short of a win against Napoli will see them eliminated from the prestigious competition.
If that happens it will indeed be a harsh reality for the same team that got to the finals of this same competition barely 7 months ago.
Group C was tipped to be one of the most fiercely-contested sections of the tournament from the moment Liverpool, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain were all drawn in the same group as each other, and so it has proved.
Klopp’s men are currently third on the table and must win in order for any thing good to happen for them. This is beacuse If PSG beat Red Star then Liverpool must win either 1-0 or by two clear goals to finish above Napoli, while if PSG draw in Belgrade and Liverpool win then there will be three teams locked on nine points. Although in that situation, Liverpool will top due to hesd to head rule
They also have a big match with Manchester United on Sunday too, completing a huge week for Liverpool, but all of their focus will be firmly fixed on the visiting Italians for now as they look to produce another memorable European night at Anfield
Talisman Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane; who just returned from injury, are set to lead the line as Jurgen Klopp names a strong side.
Dejan Lovren is still doubtful and so Virgil Van Dijk could partner Joel Matip in defense as Andrew Robertson is also in line to start.
Liverpool possible starting eleven:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mane; Salah
For Carlo Ancelotti, it has been 13 years since Liverpool dealt his AC Milan side the biggest shock of their lives as they came from 3-0 down to defeat and win the Champions league in Istanbul. For this reason, he will be wary of this liverpool side who are arguably much stronger than that team of 2005.
All Napoli need against Liverpool is a draw. They must at least avoid defeat to qualify for the knockout stages but going to Anfield will be very difficult and the team must be ready to play “the game of their lives” against their English opponents.
Napoli have fared well better than Liverpool in tjis competition, even playing out an emphatic 2-2 draw against PSG in Paris.
Ancelotti’s side are now unbeaten in their last 12 games across all competitions stretching back to September, with the first match in that run being their 1-0 win over Liverpool at the Stadio San Paolo. This is likely to give them a boost ahead of the match.
Vlad Chiriches and Simone Verdi are the only players out injured for Napoli. Ancelotti could welcome some first-team players back into his side after resting them at the weekend, though, including David Ospina, Raul Albiol, Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens
Napoli possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Rui; Callejon, Allan, Hamsik, Zielinski; Mertens, Insigne
Head To Head
Both teams have met just three times in the past with both of them managing a win apiece and one draw.