Liverpool head into this week’s Champions League match with Napoli having surprisingly failed to win their last two matches. After winning seven consecutive matches, the Reds hit the buffers against Chelsea in the EFL Cup and Premier League, sparking concerns.
That hasn’t stopped the bookmakers installing Jurgen Klopp’s side as strong favourites to win Wednesday’s clash in Italy, with Bet365’s Napoli v Liverpool betting offering 23/20 about a win for the Merseyside outfit.
You can understand the short price considering Liverpool have sparkled so far this season. They blew Paris Saint-Germain away at Anfield, and the 3-2 victory that day really didn’t illustrate the superiority being shown by the home side.
They may have reached the Champions League Final last year, but this match at the Stadio San Paolo represents a really tough assignment for Liverpool.
For the sixth consecutive season, Napoli challenged hard for the Scudetto, finishing second in Serie A for the third time in six seasons. It’s therefore a surprise to see Gli Azzurri trading as big as 5/2 with Betfair to claim the spoils in this clash.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti joined Naples this summer, with the Italian replacing compatriot Maurizio Sarri, who left to join Chelsea. Despite this change, the nucleus of the squad has remained the same.
Napoli were surprisingly unable to win away to Red Star Belgrade in their first Champions League group match and that means that victory is more imperative against Liverpool, considering a double header against PSG looms large on the horizon.
The team are again already second in the Serie A table and have won all three games on home soil this term, with Lorenzo Insigne a real goal-getter for this team - although the star turns come in the forms of Dries Mertens and Marek Hamsik.
Draw Suits Liverpool
Liverpool would probably be happy to continue their winless run for one more match if it meant this clash ended in a draw, which would put them on four points ahead of two games against Red Star Belgrade.
Klopp will think hard about his team selection for this clash bearing in mind that Manchester City are the team’s opponents this coming Sunday, and there’s something called the Mohamed Salah conundrum that now rears its ugly head.
The Goals Markets
Salah was unfortunate not to score at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and BetVictor has 19/5 about the Egyptian breaking the deadlock in this clash, although Roberto Firmino seems a likelier goal-getter in this competition and he’s 6/1 with Unibet to break the deadlock.
Liverpool haven’t managed to keep clean sheets in away games at Leicester, Tottenham and Chelsea, so a win for the Reds might come along with both teams scoring, and that bet has odds of 13/5 with Bet365, which makes more appeal than the skinny odds available for just the away win.
It was noticeable how fast out of the traps the Reds were against PSG in that Champions League opener and Ladbrokes trade 12/5 about them leading at half-time and full-time, although Draw HT/Napoli FT is available at 15/2 with William Hill.