Napoli aim to maintain perfect record at Anfield
Liverpool must beat Napoli by three or more goals if they are to leapfrog them into top spot in Group A. The visitors, meanwhile, are aiming to maintain their 100% record in this season’s Champions League. With the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain looking like potential group winners, Klopp would love to avoid facing any of them in the last-16 by beating Napoli by three or more goals on Tuesday, but on current form that is a very tall order.
Napoli’s 4-0 victory against Sassuolo on Saturday extended their winning run to a remarkable 13 matches in all competitions, with Luciano Spalletti‘s side appearing to be one of the best teams in Europe this season, at least on current form.
However, with top spot not quite assured for them yet despite being in a strong position in terms of their to head-to-head record with Liverpool having beaten them 4-1 on matchday one, Spalletti will be urging his players to send out a statement by piling on the misery for Klopp’s men.
With Liverpool desperate not to lose for a second successive home match and Napoli will be determined to continue their winning streak, but they may have to settle for a point, we can envisage an entertaining score draw.
With everything still to play for on a tantalising final matchday in Group D, Marseille and Tottenham Hotspur do battle at the Orange Velodrome on Tuesday still vying for spots in the Champions League knockout rounds.
Tottenham are one point clear at the top of the section, while Marseille sit in fourth place but are still capable of upsetting the apple cart and qualifying for the last 16.
Marseille must now endeavour to achieve a feat that they have not done since 2010 – beat an English team in the Champions League. Facing a Tottenham side who have failed to win or score away from home in the Champions League this term spells optimism for Marseille, who simply need to go gung-ho if they are to stand any chance of keeping their Champions League dream alive.
While Marseille’s record against English clubs leaves a lot to be desired, Tottenham have never beaten a French team away from home in any European competition.
Sporting Lisbon currently occupy the second and final knockout place in the rankings, with Frankfurt in third but only behind on head-to-head points.
No matter what transpires in the Lilywhites’ showdown with Marseille, Sporting will be in the last 16 if they take at least a point away from Tuesday’s game – their superior head-to-head record over Tottenham and Frankfurt will come into play if all three sides finish on eight points.
Neither side should hold back on the attacking front given what is at stake this week, and Sporting have always looked a threat going forward in Europe this term.
Sporting Lisbon have not exactly defined consistency this season and could still be caught out by a Frankfurt outfit that have had no issues finding the back of the net recently, but with the vociferous home crowd behind them, we expect the Portuguese outfit to progress.
The home side have won all five of their matches to sit top of the section on 15 points, while Inter have claimed 10 points to secure second, with Barcelona dropping into the Europa League from a tough group.
Bayern’s form in a difficult group has been incredibly impressive, with the German champions winning all five of their matches, scoring 16 times in the process and conceding just twice, which has allowed them to breeze into the knockout round of the Champions League as group winners.
Julian Nagelsmann‘s side beat Inter and Barcelona 2-0 in their first two games in the section before back-to-back victories over Viktoria Plzen, scoring nine times in the process.
Inter also reached the round of 16 last season, losing to Liverpool, but they have not made it past the first knockout round of the European Cup since 2010-11, which saw them eliminated by Schalke 04 in the last eight.
Inter have won the Champions League on three separate occasions, with their last success coming back in 2010, and a victory over Bayern on Tuesday would certainly send out a statement.