By William Hill
Last Updated: 10th December 2018
Hammering Bournemouth 4-0 was an ideal way for Liverpool to warm up for their must-win Champions League showdown with Napoli, but having lost as many Group C games as Red Star Belgrade they’re vulnerable. Even winning may not be enough to see them through.
Liverpool vs Napoli: odds and predictions
Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League leaders are trading at 6/10 in the match betting, despite losing three of their last four Champions League games, during which they’ve scored a single goal and that was a James Milner penalty.
The Azzurri look big for the win at odds of 4/1 until you remember that the Reds have lost just two competitive home games since the end of January 2017. Also, the Italians only need to avoid defeat to be sure of qualifying for the knockout stages. A draw is a 17/5 pick.
Ultimately our Liverpool vs Napoli predictions and betting tips expects the hosts to cheat the reaper by a slender margin here thanks, in no small part, to what should be an electric atmosphere at Anfield, where they’ve won all bar two of their nine UCL games under Klopp, drawing the other two.
Liverpool vs Napoli head-to-head (most recent first): Napoli 1-0 Liverpool, Liverpool 3-1 Napoli, Napoli 0-0 Liverpool
Liverpool vs Napoli predictions: correct score, best bet, scorer tips
Correct score prediction: Liverpool 4-2 Napoli, odds @ 28/1
Given the Reds have conceded just five goals across 10 home games this season, such a scoreline may seem unlikely, but Anfield’s knack of serving up more twists and turns than the average Agatha Christie novel on occasions such as this is expected to see both sides sucked into a slug-fest.
There is form substance to this Liverpool vs Napoli prediction too, rather than simply memories of rollercoaster encounters like the 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund in 2016, or the from-behind 3-1 victory over Olympiakos on the way to lifting the Champions League trophy in 2004/05.
Just one of the hosts’ last seven UCL home games has seen them net less than three goals and that was a non-event second-leg tie against Porto last term, while they’ve conceded twice in two of their last three at Anfield in Europe.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have found the net twice themselves in each of their last four on the road, including against Paris Saint-German a fortnight ago and promise to be tough to contain.
Along similar lines to the first of our Liverpool vs Napoli predictions, it’s difficult to foresee the Reds defence holding out against the likes of Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, Marek Hamsik and Arkadiusz Milik for an entire game in which they’re going all out to win.
The Azzurri have already netted at the Juventus Stadium, as well as the Parc des Princes in 2018/19, while the Merseyside outfit have kept just one clean sheet in their last four Champions League home games.
Goalscorer betting predictions: James Milner our pick to score first @ 16/1
Milner has scored three times in big games this term, home and away against PSG and away to Arsenal and, while two of those were penalties, that only adds to his appeal in what’s expected to be a fairly frantic affair.
Having found the net from open play against Burnley in his penultimate outing, Milner looks a value play at double-digit odds, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all 5/1 or shorter in the betting to bag first.
At 4/1 in the anytime scorer odds, 22-year-old Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz Pena is a fair pick for the visitors, having struck in two of his last three outings.
Only Mertens and Insigne average more shots per game in the Champions League for Napoli than the Real Betis youth product and both are 2/1 or shorter in the same market.
Liverpool vs Napoli predictions: stats
- Napoli are the sole unbeaten side left in Champions League Group C.
- Liverpool have kept seven clean sheets in 10 games at Anfield this season.
- The Reds haven’t won a home game in which they weren’t in front at half-time since January 2018.