Napoli take on the visitors Liverpool in the round 1 match of UEFA Champions League group stage. The match will be played on Wednesday, September 7th at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona (Naples).
Napoli were able to return to the top of Italian football last season. After unsuccessful performances under Ancelotti and Gattuso, it was even possible for a certain time to demonstrate ambitions to compete for the Scudetto. As a result, however, the “partenopeia” lagged behind a couple of giants from Milan. Now Spaletti is facing a new challenge in the form of the need to drastically update the squad. Ospina, Coulibaly, Fabian Ruiz, Insigne, Mertens left for various reasons. But about 70 million were spent on newcomers. Despite the fact that Sirigu came for free, and Ndombele has so far only been loaned. Summer signing Khvicha made a great debut in Italy, and in general, the representative of Naples had a good start. However, on the other hand, the same 1-1 with Lecce is clearly not an asset to the grandee. In addition, at the weekend there was a tough clash with "Lazio", which is also important. How much power is left after that?
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Liverpool were good last season. And, first of all, it is in the Champions League. A 100% result in a rather difficult group, with Porto, Atletico and another 1st Italian giant, Milan. They were confident in playoffs and had an advantage in the final, but… Salah and company didn't beat Courtois while Real Madrid scored a single goal. Maybe this was the last straw for Mane - he is already at Bayern. It seems that he was replaced for a good money with Darwin Nunez. And he immediately began to score, helping to win the Super Cup. But in the Premier League, the starting rounds showed a lot of problems. Yes, they took Bournemouth 9-0, but they suffered with all the other rivals. And a lot of points have already been lost. Perhaps they will focus on the Champions League? However, it's too early to think about it. In any case, reaching the playoffs remains the “default” task.
The sides have faced each other three times, all the time in the group stages - in the Europa League in 2010 and in the Champions League in 2018 and 2019. And at the moment there is complete equality in head-to-heads: 2 wins and a couple of draws. Bookmakers expect Liverpool to win from this pair in a spectacular game. But this is only the 1st round of the group stage. We are waiting for “total less than 3.0 goals”.
Prediction for the match: Under 3.0 scored goals.