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Liverpool v Napoli facts

Holders Liverpool are on the verge of reaching the last 16 again as Napoli, who have never won in England, come to Anfield.

Napoli's Dries Mertens (left) puts Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk under pressure on Matchday 1
Napoli's Dries Mertens (left) puts Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk under pressure on Matchday 1 ©AFP/Getty Images

Liverpool lead the way in Group E, and for the second season in a row conclude their home fixtures in the section against an unbeaten Napoli side who are hot on their heels at the top of the standings.

• Late goals from Dries Mertens (82 pen) and Fernando Llorente (90+2) earned Napoli a 2-0 success against the holders in southern Italy on Matchday 1. Liverpool, however, have won all three games since to move on to nine points, one more than their opponents, with Salzburg third on four points and eliminated Genk on one.

• That means Liverpool will be through if they beat Napoli, or if Salzburg do not beat Genk. Liverpool will clinch first place with a win. Napoli will be through if they win at Anfield, or if Salzburg do not beat Genk.

Highlights: Napoli 2-0 Liverpool

Previous meetings
• Each side recorded a 1-0 home win in last season's group stage, Lorenzo Insigne getting Napoli's 90th-minute winner at the Stadio San Paolo on Matchday 2. Mohamed Salah was the Liverpool match-winner at Anfield on Matchday 6, his 34th-minute strike proving enough to take Jürgen Klopp's side into the knockout stages at the expense of their Italian opponents – although but for a last-gasp Alisson save to deny Arkadiusz Milik, Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli would have progressed instead.

• The clubs also met in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage. With the game in Naples having 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, secured a dramatic late win for Liverpool.  The Reds went on to finish top of their section, with Napoli second; the Italian club were eliminated in the round of 32, Liverpool losing in the last 16.

Highlights: Liverpool 2-1 Genk

Form guide
• Having opened their defence of the trophy with that loss at Napoli, Liverpool edged out Salzburg at Anfield in a seven-goal thriller, eventually prevailing 4-3 in a game in which they had led 3-0, before winning away (4-1) and at home (2-1) against Genk with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain providing three of Liverpool's goals.

• Jürgen Klopp's team lost all three away games in last season's group stage, but were rescued by three wins at Anfield as they edged out Napoli on goal difference. They then beat Bayern München 3-1 away in the second leg of their round of 16 tie, going through by the same aggregate score, before ousting Porto 6-1 over two legs in the quarter-finals (2-0 h, 4-1 a). The journey looked to be over when the Reds went down 3-0 at Barcelona in the semi-final first leg, but two goals apiece from Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi sealed a rousing second-leg turnaround, before Salah and Origi secured the club's sixth European Cup with a 2-0 final defeat of Tottenham in Madrid.

Highlights: Liverpool 4-3 Salzburg

• Liverpool had won five successive home UEFA Champions League fixtures, beating Paris Saint-Germain (3-2), Crvena zvezda (4-0) and, decisively, Napoli (1-0) in last season's group stage, before drawing 0-0 against Bayern in the round of 16 first leg; they have won all four matches at Anfield since, and are unbeaten in 24 European home games (W18 D6), since a 3-0 loss to Real Madrid on 22 October 2014. The 4-3 win against Salzburg was the first time they had conceded in six UEFA Champions League games at Anfield.

• The Reds have won their last seven home matches in the UEFA Champions League group stage, scoring 24 goals.

• Liverpool's record at home against Italian teams is W8 L4; though defeated in two of the last five, they have won the last two.

• Premier League runners-up in 2018/19, finishing a single point behind Manchester City, Liverpool are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 12th time; they have only failed to progress to the last 16 or further three times.

• Liverpool have already claimed European silverware this term, beating Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul.

Highlights: Salzburg 2-3 Napoli

• Having been held 0-0 at Genk on Matchday 2, Napoli ended an eight-match sequence without an away victory in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D3 L5), with a 3-2 success at Salzburg in their third fixture; the Austrian club earned a 1-1 draw in Italy last time out.

• Serie A runners-up for the second season running in 2018/19, Napoli are in the group stage for the sixth time – all in the last nine seasons. They reached the round of 16 in 2011/12 and 2016/17 but have finished third in their section in the other three campaigns.

• Napoli have won only six of their last 18 matches in the UEFA Champions League, group stage to final (D5 L7) – all those victories bar the Matchday 3 success at Salzburg coming at the Stadio San Paolo.

Highlights: Napoli 1-1 Salzburg

• Having finished third behind Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool in last season's group stage, Napoli kicked off their UEFA Europa League campaign with a comfortable 5-1 aggregate win against Zürich before edging out Salzburg 4-3 over two legs in the round of 16. They were then eliminated from a second European competition of the season by an English club, however, losing 2-0 away to Arsenal and 1-0 at home in the quarter-finals.

• This season's win at Salzburg and the success at Zürich in 2018/19 are Napoli's only victories in their last eight away European fixtures (D3 L3).

• Napoli have never won in England; their record away to Premier League clubs is D2 L6.

Links and trivia
• Ancelotti was Chelsea manager between 2009 and 2011, winning the Premier League and the FA Cup in 2010.

2018/19 highlights: Liverpool 1-0 Napoli

• Klopp's Borussia Dortmund side were beaten 2-1 at Napoli on Matchday 1 of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League; the German club won the reverse fixture 3-1 and went on to the round of 16 alongside Arsenal, Napoli missing out as all three teams finished on 12 points.

• 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:
David Ospina (Arsenal 2014–18)
Fernando Llorente (Swansea 2016/17, Tottenham 2017–19)

Watch 2010 Gerrard hat-trick against Napoli

• Llorente was an 81st-minute substitute in Spurs' defeat by Liverpool in last season's final, having scored the decisive goal of the quarter-final against Manchester City.

• Have played together:
Mohamed Salah & Kostas Manolas (Roma 2015–17)
Alisson Becker & Kostas Manolas (Roma 2016–18)
Sadio Mané & Kalidou Koulibaly (Metz 2011/12)
Georginio Wijnaldum & Dries Mertens (PSV Eindhoven 2011–13)
Fabinho & José Callejón (Real Madrid 2012/13)

• International team-mates:
Divock Origi & Dries Mertens (Belgium)
Sadio Mané & Kalidou Koulibaly (Senegal)

Latest news

• Sadio Mané made his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition on Matchday 4.

• Liverpool have won 12 of their 13 Premier League matches this season, the exception a 1-1 draw at Manchester United on 20 October. That ended the Merseyside club's run of 17 successive Premier League victories, one short of Manchester City's top-flight record.

• On 10 November goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Mané earned a 3-1 win against champions Manchester City at Anfield.

• Liverpool were 2-1 winners at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

• Liverpool are unbeaten in 30 league fixtures (W25 D5), since a 2-1 loss at City on 3 January.

• Salah has five goals in his last seven matches in all competitions.

• On 30 October Liverpool reached the quarter-finals of the English League Cup with a 5-4 penalties win against Arsenal after a remarkable 5-5 draw at Anfield; that was only the second time in 66 years the Reds had conceded five goals in a game at Anfield, with the other occasion Arsenal's 6-3 League Cup victory in January 2007.

• Liverpool will travel to Aston Villa in the League Cup quarter-finals on 17 December.

• Summer signing Harvey Elliott made his Liverpool debut in a 2-0 victory at MK Dons in the League Cup third round on 25 September; aged 16 years 174 days, he was the youngest player to start a game for Liverpool.

• The Reds kicked off the season by losing 5-4 on penalties to English champions Manchester City after a 1-1 draw in the FA Community Shield at Wembley on 4 August.

• Liverpool did come out on top on spot kicks against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup on 14 August, prevailing 5-4 after a 2-2 draw in Istanbul.

• Georginio Wijnaldum scored a hat-trick as the Netherlands rounded off their UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign with a 5-0 win against Estonia on 19 November – his eighth goal in the competition, making him the Oranje's top scorer. Virgil van Dijk had captained the side that secured a finals place with a 0-0 draw away to Northern Ireland on 16 November.

• Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first international goal since June 2017 as England clinched a place at UEFA EURO 2020 with a 7-0 home win against Montenegro on 14 November, and provided an assist in the 4-0 success in Kosovo three days later. Trent Alexander-Arnold also featured in both games, with Joe Gomez coming on as a substitute against Montenegro.

• Naby Keïta scored in Guinea's 2-2 CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifying draw in Mali on 14 November.

• Salah was replaced late on in the win against Manchester City with an ankle injury and was an unused substitute on Saturday.

• Joël Matip, who signed a new "long-term contract" on 18 October, has played only once since 28 September due to a knee injury.

• Xherdan Shaqiri has not played since Matchday 1 due to a calf complaint.

• Andrew Robertson missed Scotland's recent internationals with an ankle injury but played 90 minutes at Crystal Palace; Gomez sat out England's win in Kosovo due to a knee problem, returning as a late substitute on Saturday.

• Van Dijk was named UEFA Men's Player of the Year for 2018/19 in Monaco on 29 August; the Dutchman also collected the Defender of the Season award, with Alisson taking the Goalkeeper's prize.

• Dries Mertens' two goals at Salzburg on Matchday 3 took him on to 116 for Napoli, one ahead of Diego Maradona in the club's all-time charts and five shy of record holder Marek Hamšík.

• Napoli are without a win in six games in all competitions (D5 L1); they drew 1-1 at AC Milan on Saturday.

• The Naples club have not recorded a Serie A win since a 2-0 home defeat of Verona on 19 October; their record since is D4 L1.

• Arkadiusz Milik has scored five of Napoli's last seven Serie A goals.

• Lorenzo Insigne scored in Italy's 3-0 UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying win in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 15 November.

• Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret made his Italy debut in the Azzurri's 9-1 win against Armenia on 18 November, conceding a goal just two minutes after coming on as a 77th-minute substitute.

• Piotr Zieliński won his 50th cap in Poland's 2-1 victory away to Israel on 16 November.

• Fabián Ruiz registered his first senior international goal to open the scoring in Spain's final UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier – a 5-0 win against Romania in Madrid.

• Kévin Malcuit has undergone surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and is expected to be out for six months.

• Faouzi Ghoulam has not played since suffering a thigh injury on 6 October.

• Allan played 90 minutes on Saturday, his first appearance since suffering a knee injury in the 2-2 draw against Atalanta on 30 October.

• Kostas Manolas was out between 19 October and 2 November with a fractured rib, and has not played since due to a recurrence of the injury, although he was an unused substitute on Saturday.

• Milik missed Poland's recent internationals and Napoli's draw at Milan due to a stomach muscle injury.