Napoli v Liverpool facts
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Napoli are looking to capitalise on home advantage against a Liverpool side lifted by a late win in their first Group C game.
Article top media content
Napoli will be looking to make their home form count and get a first win on the board in Group C when they welcome last season's runners-up Liverpool.
• The Italian side were held 0-0 away to debutants Crvena zvezda on matchday one, while Liverpool let slip a two-goal lead in their heavyweight contest with Paris Saint-Germain before substitute Roberto Firmino's added-time strike secured a 3-2 victory at Anfield.
• The clubs have met only twice before, in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage. The game in Naples ended scoreless; Ezequiel Lavezzi gave Napoli a first-half lead at Anfield before Steven Gerrard's hat-trick in the final 15 minutes, including goals in the 88th and 89th minutes, secured a dramatic late win for Liverpool.
• The Reds went on to finish top of their section, with Napoli in second place; the Italian club were eliminated in the round of 32, Liverpool losing in the last 16.
• Serie A runners-up in 2017/18, Napoli are in the group stage for the fifth time – all in the last eight seasons. They reached the round of 16 in 2011/12 and 2016/17.
• The Italian club finished third in their section last season – winning two of their three home matches and losing the other – and went on to the UEFA Europa League round of 32, where they lost to RB Leipzig.
• Napoli's last home game against English visitors brought a 4-2 defeat by Manchester City in last season's group stage – their first home reverse against Premier League opponents in their sixth such encounter (W4 D1).
• The Italian side have lost two of their last three home European matches, including a 1-3 loss against Leipzig in their most recent outing. However, they have suffered only four losses in their last 26 European home fixtures (W16 D6).
• They have won only two of their last six home games in the UEFA Champions League group stage to final, losing three.
• Fourth in the Premier League in 2017/18, Liverpool are in the group stage for the second season running, having featured once in the previous seven.
• Liverpool scored an average of 3.15 goals per game in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League.
• The five-time winners reached their eighth European Cup final in 2017/18, when they won four of their seven UEFA Champions League away matches (qualifying included), losing only one.
• Liverpool were beaten on their last trip to Italy – also their most recent European away game – going down 4-2 at Roma in last season's semi-final second leg, only a second defeat in their last 14 European away fixtures. The Reds have nevertheless won just five of their last 19 (D8 L6).
• The Reds have lost only two of their last eight away games against Italian clubs, winning three.
Links and trivia
• Napoli are the eighth club Carlo Ancelotti has coached in the UEFA Champions League, after Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris, Real Madrid and Bayern, extending his own competition record.
• Mohamed Salah played in Serie A for Fiorentina (2015) and Roma (2015–17), scoring for the latter in a 3-1 win at the Stadio San Paolo in October 2016.
• Have also played in Italy:
Alisson Becker (Roma 2016–18)
Xherdan Shaqiri (Inter 2015)
• Have played in England:
Vlad Chiricheș (Tottenham 2013–15)
David Ospina (Arsenal 2014–18)
• Have played together:
Kalidou Koulibaly & Sadio Mané (Metz 2011/12)
Dries Mertens & Georginio Wijnaldum (PSV Eindhoven 2011–13)
José Callejón, Raúl Albiol & Fabinho (Real Madrid 2012/13)
• International team-mates:
Dries Mertens & Divock Origi, Simon Mignolet (Belgium)
Kalidou Koulibaly & Sadio Mané (Senegal)
José Callejón, Raúl Albiol & Albeto Moreno (Spain)
Marko Rog & Dejan Lovren (Croatia)
• Summer transfers
In: Amin Younes* (Ajax), Simone Verdi (Bologna), Fabián Ruíz (Real Betis), Alex Meret (Udinese), Orestis Karnezis (Udinese), Vinícius Morais (Real SC), Amato Ciciretti (Benevento), Kévin Malcuit (LOSC Lille), David Ospina (Arsenal, loan)
Out: Pepe Reina (AC Milan), Emanuele Giaccherini (Chievo Verona), Jorginho (Chelsea), Gennaro Tutino (Carpi, loan), Zinédine Machach (Carpi, loan), Roberto Insigne (Benevento, loan), Amato Ciciretti (Parma, loan), Alberto Grassi (Parma, loan), Roberto Inglese (Parma, loan), Lorenzo Tonelli (Sampdoria, loan), Vinícius Morais (Rio Ave, loan)
*Not in UEFA Champions League squad
• Under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, Napoli have won five of their first seven Serie A games this season, the exceptions a 3-0 loss at Sampdoria on 2 September and Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Juventus.
• Having not kept a clean sheet in their first three games this season, the Partenopei had managed three in four matches in all competitions before shipping three goals at Juve.
• Lorenzo Insigne has scored twice against Torino (3-1) and once against Parma (3-0) since matchday one and has already found the net five times in Serie A this season; he managed eight in the whole of 2017/18.
• Arkadiusz Milik got two against Parma and has three goals in six Serie A games in the current campaign; he scored five in each of his first two campaigns with the Partenopei.
• The game with Torino was Piotr Zieliński's 100th for Napoli; he received a plaque celebrating the event before the home game against Parma.
• Goalkeeper Alex Meret broke his arm soon after joining Napoli this summer, while Faouzi Ghoulam underwent knee surgery in July having not played since 1 November 2017.
• New signing Amin Younes has had an operation on a ruptured Achilles tendon; Vlad Chiricheş ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee in Romania's game against Montenegro on 7 September.
• Summer transfers
In: Naby Keïta (Leipzig), Fabinho (Monaco), Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City), Alisson Becker (Roma)
Out: Ovie Ejaria (Rangers, loan), Emre Can (Juventus), Jon Flanagan (released), Ádám Bogdán (Hibernian, loan), Danny Ward (Leicester City), Taiwo Awoniyi (Gent, loan), Allan (Eintracht Frankfurt, loan), Ben Woodburn (Sheffield United, loan), Danny Ings (Southampton, loan), Ragnar Klavan (Cagliari), Marko Grujić (Hertha BSC, loan), Loris Karius (Beşiktaş, loan)
• Jürgen Klopp's side won their first six Premier League matches this season, beating Southampton 3-0 after matchday one – the first time in the club's history they have kicked off a season with six league victories.
• Liverpool had not won six league matches in a row since a run of nine successive victories between February and April 2014.
• This season's sequence was ended by Saturday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea, a late goal from substitute Daniel Sturridge preserving the club's unbeaten record in the 2018/19 Premier League.
• The Reds bowed out of the English League Cup after a 2-1 loss to Chelsea at Anfield in the third round on 26 September.
• Liverpool paid a world-record fee for a goalkeeper this summer to bring in Alisson from Roma – this was quickly eclipsed by Chelsea's signing of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
• James Milner's nine assists in the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League set a new competition record.
• Dejan Lovren played all seven games as Croatia reached the World Cup final in Russia. He made his first appearance of the season in the League Cup game against Chelsea after a pelvis problem.
• Virgil van Dijk suffered bruised ribs against Southampton on 22 September, but recovered to play on Saturday.
• Adam Lallana has not played since 20 August due to a groin injury.
• Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is unlikely to play this season after suffering a serious knee injury in last season's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg against Roma on 24 April.