Napoli vs Liverpool preview
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Last Updated: 18/09/19 4:44pm
Team news, key stats and predictions ahead of Napoli vs Liverpool as the Champions League group stages commence.
Divock Origi missed out on Liverpool's 20-man squad which travelled to Italy on Monday following his injury suffered against Newcastle, with Alisson Becker (leg) Naby Keita (groin) and Nathaniel Clyne (knee) also missing with longer-term conditions. The fitness of left-back Andy Robertson will be assessed prior to kick-off.
Arkadiusz Milik looks likely to miss out for Napoli, having been absent since suffering a muscle injury in mid-August, but Lorenzo Insigne, who scored against the Reds when the two sides met in pre-season, may be fit after training alone for part of last week.
This will be the fifth meeting between Napoli and Liverpool in European competition, after they met twice in the 2010-11 UEFA Europa League Group Stage and again in two Group Stage games in last season's UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool didn't attempt a single shot on target in their 0-1 UEFA Champions League Group Stage defeat away at Napoli last season. This is the only time in their last 74 games in the competition that they haven't attempted one.
Napoli have won just one of their last six European meetings with English clubs, losing the other five in this run and failing to score in the last three. The only victory in this time was the 1-0 home win over Liverpool on MD2 of the UEFA Champions League 2018/19.
Over the last two UEFA Champions League campaigns, Liverpool have scored more goals (65) and won more games (15) than any other side in the competition.
The reigning UEFA Champions League champion have not lost their opening UCL game the following season since AC Milan did so in 1994-95 against Ajax (W14 D10 since).
Liverpool's forward Sadio Mane has scored 14 goals in 24 UEFA Champions League appearances. Should he score in his next appearance in the competition, he'll equal Didier Drogba's record of 25 appearances to score his first 15 goals in the UCL; which is the current quickest to 15 goals by an African player.
Charlie Nicholas' prediction
This will be a good test for the Champions League holders. We saw a vulnerable side to their defence at the weekend again, conceding after just seven minutes against Newcastle. They have walked away comfortably and won, but that is not the point.
The difference Roberto Firmino makes is unbelievable. He doesn't get the goals that Mohamed Salah gets or has the pace that Sadio Mane does but he has skill and cunning. He is a real team player and is my favourite out of the three, my favourite to watch, although he may be easier to mark than the other two.
Liverpool have not improved in midfield. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still a fringe player. We know they are a good side but those three have to be on their game to win matches.
Napoli are all-action and very strong at home, but not convincing away from home. Dries Mertens just rocks up and does the job. He gets big goals and I expect him to grab another through the week.
CHARLIE PREDICTS: 2-1 (10/1 with Sky Bet)
How to follow with Sky Sports
Follow minute-by-minute updates across the Sky Sports website and app on Tuesday via our live match blog. Coverage will start at 6.45pm.