Big Game Focus: Liverpool v Napoli

Liverpool face Napoli at Anfield tonight in a make-or-break tie for either side’s hopes of progression to the Champions League knockout rounds. This is our Big Game Focus for the gigantic clash.

Napoli currently lead Group C with nine points, one ahead of Paris St. Germain and three ahead of their hosts tonight. They could still find themselves eliminated, if they lose by a margin of more than one goal and assuming that PSG win their match against Crvena Zvezda.

A draw will not be enough for Liverpool – finalists from last season – to progress given that they lost 1-0 to Napoli earlier in the group; neither will any win of a one-goal margin where both teams score.

Whatever happens, it promises to be an evening of high-octane football drama. Here are some betting tips, team news and likely line-ups for the match.

Betting tips

Three out of the last four Champions League matches for Liverpool have featured Under 3.5 Goals, with the exception of their 4-0 win over Crvena. Both these teams boast some of the best defenders in the world, and are well known for their ability to nullify the opposition. Odds for Under 3.5 Goals are at 1.65 here.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah turned talk of his apparent decline this season into hot air with a brilliant hat-trick against Bournemouth over the weekend. He’ll be fired up for this critical match as he starts to hit his best form again. The last time he played a full match against Napoli, he registered one goal and an assist for AS Roma. Bet on Anytime Goalscorer odds for the Egyptian at 1.60 here.

Napoli will be up against the odds as they face a determined Liverpool side in front of a baying Anfield crowd. The Reds have won seven of their last nine Champions League matches at home, and have not lost in any of their last ten. Carlo Ancelotti’s men on the other hand, have not won any of their last five on the road in the competition, with three of those being defeats. A Home Win is valued at 1.60 here.

Team news

Dejan Lovren missed the weekend win over Bournemouth with a knock, but should be fit to return to the line-up tonight and is likely to replace Joe Gomez, who is out injured. Sadio Mané started the match on the bench; he should be back in the starting 11 against the Italians.

Faouzi Ghoulam made his long awaited return from injury for Napoli against Frosinone over the weekend. It remains to be seen, however, whether Ancelotti will risk playing him from the start.

Likely line-ups:

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Firmino, Mané; Salah

Napoli: Ospina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Rui; Callejón, Allan, Hamšík, Zielinski; Mertens, Insigne