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Napoli vs Liverpool – Wednesday 7th, 8:00pm

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The UEFA Champions League draw has paired these two sides together for the third time in the past five seasons and this is Napoli’s seventh successive UCL campaign, they sit pretty at the top of Serie A after a good start (W3, D2) but haven’t played anyone of the similar stature yet.

The Stadio Diego Armando Maradona has proven to be a daunting place, only having ever lost 3 of their 21 home UCL matches (W13, D2). Napoli fair well against English teams winning 5 of their last 6 home games against them and Liverpool have done well recently against Italian teams, winning each of their last 3 visits and scoring +2 goals each time. 

Napoli have chopped and changed over the summer with Spalletti bringing in Kvaratskhelia, Min-Jae, Simeone, Ndombele, Ostigard, Sirigu, Miramontes and Raspadori to replace the outgoing Koulibaly, Insigne, Ospina, Ounas, Palmiero and D’Ursi, they’ve thrown money at this situation and backed the manager who is in the last year of his contract and will want to excel. They could look to new signing Kvaratskhelia for inspiration, given 9 of his last 13 club goals have come at home.

The six times conquerors of Europe are known for finding a different gear on the continental stage making it to their third final in the last five seasons and they won all their group stage games last season. Never has an English side won 7 successive UCL group stage matches, and Klopp’s team are no stranger to breaking records as they were the first club in the competition’s history to win all 6 of last season’s UCL away matches. 

In recent H2Hs it’s equal with Napoli winning 3, Liverpool winning 3 and there being 2 draws over the 8 times they’ve played since 2010, with only 2 fixtures being BTTS games. 

Key stats

* Napoli are unbeaten in the last 15 matches

* Only 25% BTTS over 8 H2Hs 

* Napoli have scored 8 times between 30-45 minutes in the last 7 games 

* Liverpool’s 40%-win rate over the last 10 matches

* Home Advantage 63%-win rate in H2Hs 

This is a great time for Napoli to meet Liverpool because as we have seen they aren’t running at full speed yet and are more than beatable during this transition period. So I’m going for the home side to get the win, 2-1 with Simeone and Kvaratskhelia netting for Napoli and Salah for Liverpool as 7 of his last 8 UCL goals have been scored on the road. Expect goals just before halftime as Napoli have scored 8 goals between the 30-45 minutes in the last 7 matches.

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