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NAPOLI 27-11-19 CL (H)

Back to the Champions League on Wednesday evening, with Liverpool needing a win to see them top the group and maybe get an easier draw in the first knockout round.  Any other result and it will probably all come down to the final game at Salzberg and we know how tricky they can be.  I don't think we should be resting key players for this one.  Lets get the job done then we can rest players for Salzberg.  Napoli are in a difficult moment but we know how good they can be even if they will be short up front because of injuries.

My team would be:

Alisson

Gomez  Lovren VanDijk  Robertson

Henderson  Fabinho  Wijnaldum

Salah  Firmino  Mane

i'm only leaving Trent out because he has played a lot of games and has looked like he needs a rest in his past couple of games.

I would expect Liverpool to win despite Napoli's strength and if we can score early it could be an easier win than last season.  A clean sheet would also be nice.

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  • It's the first full game iv'e watched this season and i have to be honest, we we're dire in the 1st half i felt. We've spent years trying to get through parked buses and we still can't do it, as for the high line, bloody hate it, it's worked at times but on the whole it has caused us so many goals, i don't know why Klopp persists with it, i so wish we could revert back to the style we had when we leaked so little goals.
    Napoli got for what they came for, not to be beaten, they'll qualify for sure against Genk whereas we have the more difficult last game at salzberg. I know what some might say, that we almost went out last season only for a fantastic Alisson save and of course went on to win it but like i said on another blog, we won't keep getting away with it.
    I must say a word about the atmosphere, very muted for a big European game which was disappointing, the crowd only really made noise when we start to play well in the last 20 minutes.
    Having said all that i still expect us to go to Salzberg and get at least a draw which will see us through but we had a chance to wrap it up last night and we didn't take, did you notice how angry Klopp looked at the end!!!!!!!!!!!
    P.S, The Ox should have started the 2nd half, he changed the game for the better when he came on.
    • When the dust settles I think Klopp will probably be fairly relieved to come away from the fixture with a point considering what a thorn in our side Napoli have been in recent seasons. It was not beyond the realms of possibility that we could have lost that game so, on balance, going to Salzburg needing just a draw may be a pretty good outcome.
  • A bit of an odd European game - the stadium was surprisingly quiet and the team were far from their best. The injury to Fabinho early on didn't help matters (at least he's suspended for the weekend so will have time to recover, if it's not serious). I can't quite work out the point of VAR if they don't pick up the foul on van Dijk before the Napoli goal, you can clearly see the player wasn't looking at the ball when he went into the defender. To be honest, and I don't often say this, I thought the referee was pretty shocking as well. The one issue I have with the Napoli goal, apart from the van Dijk foul, is that it's another we've conceded when playing a high line but not catching the attacker offside, it's such a risky tactic as is gives the forward so much time to set up his shot once he's passed the back line. Lovren's goal was well-taken and it's time to admit that since he's come back into the team he's been one of our most reliable players. We didn't play well and how much that was down to Napoli (a team we always seem to struggle against) and how much that was down to us I'm not sure. My worry is that we're starting to look a bit jaded just before we enter the most congested period of the season. We could've done without needing a point against Salzburg because I can't see how Klopp now rests the players he would've wanted to.
    • I don't think we would have conceded that goal had VanDijk not been nursing his injury on the half way line. He would surely have been the man marking Mertens. It was a poor performance by the Reds but a lot of that was down to Napoli's tactics with two markers on Mane and Salah which restricted our ability to get behind their defence. Other teams have tried it but we have mostly found a way through in the end. We couldn't last night, so Napoli deserve credit for that if not for their constant whining to the very poor ref. I suggested pre-game that Gomez might replace Trent for this one as Trent had been looking tired. However I'm wondering if that option will not be used in future given that Gomez was so poor going forward (though he defended OK). Henderson and Milner could probably do a better job in the system we play, while Hoever and Williams are young players who are more talented attack wise than Gomez for the future.
      • The way the team is set up now means the midfielders are not really the primary creative force anymore, it's Robertson and Trent at fullback (a fact proven by the amount of assists they get), so Gomez is in a bit of a difficult position now because he's basically a centreback deputising at fullback, he's not really an attacking fullback.
  • Trent has indeed been poor lately, maybe due to too much game time but he has a tendency to blow hot and cold but not sure about resting him for this one, maybe against Brighton and play Gomez then.
    Ox has been in really good form of late, i would start him in place of either Hendo or Wijnaldum.
    Hopefully we can get this done tonight and then we can rest some against Salzberg.
    • Just seen the team news and Trent is indeed rested as is Wijnaldum with Gomez and Milner coming in. It makes sense as they have both played a lot of games recently for club and country. It is all a balancing act keeping players fresh. With Fabinho missing out against Brighton because of suspension I could see Trent, Ox and Wijnaldum coming back for that one. Let's get the CL job done tonight then we can rotate at Salzberg and keep players fresh for the World Club Cup and the Christmas-New Year schedule.
      • Not so sure about the midfield, not enough attack in it for me considering we're at home.
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