When is Napoli v Liverpool?
Napoli v Liverpool will be shown exclusively live at 7pm (7.45pm kick-off) on Tuesday 17 September on BT Sport 2 HD, on TV and across our digital platforms.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the San Paolo Stadium showdown or follow one of the options below to jump to a specific section:
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How to watch Napoli v Liverpool on TV
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Napoli v Liverpool: Match preview
Three months after winning their sixth European trophy in Madrid, Liverpool renew acquaintances with Napoli in this season’s Champions League Group E opener at the San Paolo Stadium.
It is the second consecutive season the Reds have drawn the Serie A outfit in the group stage of the competition.
Napoli will be looking to emulate last season’s home win against the eventual winners, when Lorenzo Insigne’s late strike ensured Jurgen Klopp’s side returned to Merseyside empty-handed.
Liverpool looked disjointed and lacked fluidity in attack in southern Italy and paid the ultimate price when Jose Callejon picked out an unmarked Insigne in the box who made no mistake from close range.
In truth, it was a deserved victory for the hosts – and Klopp admitted after the game that his side only had themselves to blame for their first defeat of the season.
Fast forward two months and the sides faced off again in a win-or-bust clash at Anfield in December 2018.
Liverpool needed to win with a clean sheet or by two clear goals to qualify from a group which also contained Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade.
In a frenzied atmosphere under the lights, Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in European home games to 19 courtesy of a first-half strike from Mohamed Salah.
They survived an almighty scare in injury time when Alisson made his crucial save from Arkadiusz Milik in a rare Napoli opening but it was a deserved victory – one which saw Liverpool qualify for the last 16 and Napoli drop into the Europa League.
Speaking after the game, Klopp said: “Wow, what a game. I am not sure a manager could be prouder of a team than I am.”
The win saw Liverpool finish in second place behind PSG despite losing all three away games in their group.
The Reds were handed a tricky looking last 16 tie against five-time winners Bayern Munich but they qualified comfortably after winning 3-1 on aggregate.
They then eased past Porto before completing one of the most remarkable comebacks in European history against Barcelona in the semi-finals on a scarcely believable night at Anfield.
Roared on by their famous home support, Liverpool overturned their 3-0 deficit from the Nou Camp thanks to two-goal salvos from unlikely heroes Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum.
It was deja vu for Barcelona who were beaten 3-0 by Roma in the quarter-finals the year before to go out after winning the first leg 4-1, but it was jubilation for Liverpool and Klopp who exclaimed “I don’t know how they did it” in the post-match melee.
Riding the crest of a wave after a night that will be forever etched in Anfield folklore, Liverpool went onto claim the European trophy for a sixth time with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham in Madrid in June.
After a relatively unremarkable summer transfer window, Liverpool are ready to turn their attentions back to the Champions League after a perfect start to the Premier League season.
However, the San Paolo is a notoriously difficult venue for opposition teams to visit and Napoli boast an impressive record in the foothills of Mount Vesuvius.
The Partenopei picked up seven of their nine points in last season’s group stage in Naples and will surely pose the greatest threat to Liverpool in a group also containing Genk and Red Bull Salzburg.
On the other hand, Napoli have won just one of their last six European meetings with English clubs, losing the other five and failing to score in three.
Ancelotti’s side have begun the Serie A season in remarkable fashion after being involved in two games which have finished 4-3.
They opened their account with victory at Fiorentina with Dries Mertens, Insigne and Callejon all scoring before losing by the same scoreline to Juventus.
The perennial Italian champions raced to a three-goal lead in Turin before being pegged back to 3-3 in the second-half only for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly to concede a last-gasp own goal.
Saturday's 2-0 win at home to Sampdoria, courtesy of two Mertens goals, was a bit more routine and the perfect way to lead into a fixture with the European champions.
In what promises to be a high-intensity match-up involving two of the continent’s most potent strike forces, Liverpool will be hoping to banish any Naples demons and kick off their title defence in style.
Napoli v Liverpool: Team news
Albanian full-back Elseid Hysaj, who was linked with a summer move to Tottenham, is a doubt for the hosts.
A groin problem has kept Arkadiusz Milik out of Napoli’s fixtures so far this season and the Polish forward again looks set for a watching brief.
Roberto Firmino is expected to be recalled to the starting line-up in Naples, after coming off the bench to set up Liverpool’s third against Newcastle.
The Brazilian is set to replace Divock Origi, who twisted his ankle in the 3-1 triumph at Anfield, and as a result has not travelled to Italy – with teenager Rhian Brewster instead making the trip.
Left-back Andy Robertson also picked up a knock against the Magpies but is expected to be fit for the opening group game.
Goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Naby Keita are still missing, but the Brazilian stopper could be set to return to training soon.
Napoli v Liverpool: The managers
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti: “We’re playing the best team in Europe and they haven’t dropped any points in the Premier League yet.
“We mustn’t alter the way we play, regardless of the team I pick. Of course you have to keep the opposition in mind and the defensive side is very important but if you want to win matches you have to impose your game by playing to the strengths of your players.
“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.”
Liverpool boss Klopp: “We cannot be the best team in Europe because Manchester City are the best team in the world – that’s the same planet, I heard.
“Last season, we were really good. I’m not too sure we were the best team in Europe, but we were really good in the right moments and that’s why we won the Champions League.
“Last year, we learned from one game to the next game and we have to use that experience, because if we don’t defend with all we have then we have no chance against Napoli. They are so strong.
“They are stubborn in a positive way. They play football, they break lines, they have good counter-attacks, they are creative. I enjoy it when I analyse Napoli. I like to watch them.”
Napoli v Liverpool: Head-to-head
This will be the fifth meeting between Napoli and Liverpool in European competition, after they met twice in the 2010-11 Europa League Group Stage and again in two Group Stage games in last season’s Champions League.
|11/12/2018||Champions League||Liverpool 1-0 Napoli||Salah|
|03/10/2018||Champions League||Napoli 1-0 Liverpool||Insigne|
|04/11/2010||Europa League||Liverpool 3-1 Napoli||Gerrard (3); Lavezzi|
|21/10/2010||Europa League||Napoli 0-0 Liverpool|
Napoli v Liverpool: Key Stats
Last season in the Champions League, Napoli defeated Liverpool 1-0 at Stadio San Paolo thanks to a Lorenzo Insigne winner in the 90th minute. This was the first 90th-minute winner scored by a team against Liverpool in the competition since December 2009, when Alberto Gilardino scored for Fiorentina (1-2).
Liverpool didn’t attempt a single shot on target in their 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.
English clubs have won the last seven successive games in European competition against Italian clubs (including qualifiers) – their longest such-run ever against this country.
Over the last two Champions League campaigns, Liverpool have scored more goals (65) and won more games (15) than any other side in the competition.
The reigning Champions League champion have not lost their opening game the following season since AC Milan did so in 1994-95 against Ajax (W14 D10 since).
Over a third of the 55 goals scored by Napoli in the Champions League (35%) have been scored by either Dries Mertens (10) or Lorenzo Insigne (9).
Since the start of 2017-18, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino has been involved in 22 goals in 25 Champions League appearances (14 goals, eight assists); more than any other player for the club in this period.
- Liverpool’s Sadio Mane has scored 14 goals in 24 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.
Napoli v Liverpool: Odds
Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Bet365.