Liverpool v Napoli
Tuesday, 20:00
BT Sport 2
Champions League Group C always looked likely to be enthralling. It hasn't disappointed.
Matchday six arrives with no side yet assured of a place in the knockout stages. Three - these two plus Paris Saint-Germain - remain in the hunt but three into two won't go.
Before getting into the analysis, it's worth looking at how the group stands and what the scenarios are.

Who needs what?

Napoli lead the way on nine points, PSG have eight and Liverpool six. Red Star - who host PSG at the same time this game takes place - cannot qualify but can still finish third and earn Europa League football post-Christmas.
The group situation means Liverpool must beat Napoli to stand any chanceA 1-0 win or a victory by two clear goals guarantees their progression - if all three teams finish on 9 points, the Reds will win the group.
Napoli will qualify as long as they avoid defeat. They will also progress with a loss - if PSG lose in Belgrade. PSG head to Serbia knowing a win there will put them into the last 16. Anything else leaves their fate out of their hands.
The two sides at Anfield surely have to assume that PSG will win in which case this becomes a straight shoot-out for the other qualification spot.
That should make for an entertaining game. It's difficult to see how Liverpool can play to earn a 1-0 win and in any case, an attacking display searching for that two-goal victory is much more their style.
At the danger of introducing clichés, European nights at Anfield are legendary and so many teams appear to have been intimidated by the atmosphere down the years. You don't have to go back far for an example. Roma arrived amid much fanfare in April, having just beaten Barcelona, yet they looked like a rabbit in the headlights and were thrashed 5-2.

Reds in fine form

Liverpool look in good nick coming in. They crushed Bournemouth 4-0 at the weekend, a game which saw Mo Salah back to his best. Roberto Firmino also looked more lively than of late as Liverpool continued their unbeaten Premier League start. They have, however, struggled in this competition, losing all three away games, including 1-0 in Naples.
Boss Jurgen Klopp has rotated of late to keep his stars fresh for this one. Joe Gomez is out with his broken leg but Dejan Lovren could be available to add back up to stretched defensive resources.

Decisions for Ancelotti

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has selection issues but of a good kind.
Defender Faouzi Ghoulam returned after more than a year out with a knee injury in Saturday's 4-0 win over Frosinone, while keeper Alex Meret, finally fit after breaking his arm, made his debut.
Ancelotti's men are unbeaten in eight in Serie A and are yet to lose in this group.

Napoli overpriced?

They play attacking football and with players such as Marek HamsikDries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne in their ranks, they warrant respect, arguably more than they are getting in the market.
Liverpool are 1.64 to claim the win they need with Napoli out at 5.40. The draw is 4.70.
It's also worth mentioning the handicap line, with Liverpool 2.60 giving up a one-goal start and being able to claim that priceless two-goal win.
That looks short and the 'Anfield factor' looks more than built in.
Liverpool haven't convinced in Europe and certainly have looked more vulnerable defensively than in domestic football. Even though they played well in their 3-2 win over PSG, they almost threw that game away, needing a stoppage-time goal to claim the points.
Yes, they need to win but Napoli have qualification in their hands too and they are a team more than capable of catching the hosts out if they over-commit, which in this sort of atmosphere could easily happen.
I'm tempted by Napoli's price although can also see the danger of such a bet going badly wrong. Instead I'll look elsewhere.

Expect goals

I can totally understand why over 2.5 goals is priced as it is at 1.59 (unders is 2.62).
No side has scored more than Napoli's 32 goals in Serie A. They average 2.13 goals per game in Italy with Liverpool only fractionally below that rate in England.
Both sides are blessed with attacking talent and the way the game is set up, it's not hard to see some sort of ding-dong battle unfolding with each goal that goes in potentially swinging the qualification scenario in one side's favour. However it plays out, one side will always need to score.
Ancelotti's men certainly took the game to PSG when they headed to Paris, drawing 2-2, and I doubt the former Chelsea boss was playing mind games when he said at the weekend: "We need to go to Liverpool with the same attacking mindset we took to Paris. We're not going there to park the bus."
Therefore, I'm tempted to head towards the higher goal lines.
Over 4.5 is offered at 10/3 with over 5.5 at 15/2. Such options also bring into the equation that Anfield factor which we saw with Roma last season - if Napoli freeze on the big stage, Liverpool are more than capable of putting teams away.
A small play on the former is the recommendation.

Same Game Multi

I'm going to mention James Milner to score at any time again here - a player who often delivers on the big stage. He's deadly from the penalty spot and with Liverpool likely to be seeing more of the ball, it's not hard to see referee Damir Skomina awarding a spot kick. After all, he's given 11 in 22 games this season.
I'll stick with the goals angle and add in over 3.5. That produces a price of 11.35.

Opta fact

Liverpool are unbeaten in 18 successive European matches at Anfield (W13 D5 L0), last losing at home in European competition back in October 2014 against Real Madrid (0-3).
RECOMMENDED BETS
0.5pt over 4.5 goals @ 10/3 (Sportsbook)

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