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As we approach the final round of fixtures in the group stages of the Champions League much has already been decided in terms of qualifying to the round of 16. It’s all to play for in Group C though as PSG, Liverpool and Napoli are vying for the top two positions.
Liverpool head into their match at Anfield with Napoli outside of the top two and with their future not entirely in their own hands. The Reds first and foremost must beat Napoli but if PSG win away to Red Star (and they are the heavy odds on favourites to do so) then Liverpool must either win 1-0 or by two clear goals.
Nobody at Liverpool is under any illusions about how big the task facing them is but their history it littered with massive European results under the lights at Anfield. It remains to be seen whether Jurgen Klopp’s men can add to that legend but drama is guaranteed no matter what the result.
Liverpool 8/13 (bet365)
Draw 16/5 (Betfred)
Napoli 19/5 (Ladbrokes)
(Please note odds are correct at time of article publishing)
The UK bookmakers all make Liverpool the odds on favourites for Tuesday night’s match. That reflects the Reds’ performances in the Premier League where they are somehow managing to stay in touching distance of Manchester City at the top of the table but it’s a little short when you consider their form in Europe so far.
Liverpool have won two and lost three of their five matches including their first meeting with Napoli. It took 90 minutes for the home side to score at the Stadio San Paolo but Liverpool were second best for most of the match. Carlo Ancelotti won the tactical battle with Jurgen Klopp that day but the Liverpool manager will believe his players can turn the tables with a win on Tuesday night. Whether they can win by one of the required score lines remains to be seen.
Napoli aren’t exactly breathing down Juventus’ necks in Serie A but they continue to impress even following the loss of their highly successful manager, Maurizio Sarri. Ancelotti has done very well to impose his own ideas onto his new players and Napoli are unbeaten in the Champions League. That unbeaten run may well come to an end but backing Liverpool at odds on surely doesn’t represent value.
Liverpool 2-1 @ 7/1 (Coral)
Draw 1-1 @ 8/1 (bet365)
Liverpool 2-0 @ 17/2 (Ladbrokes)
Liverpool 1-0 @ 9/1 (William Hill)
Liverpool 3-1 @ 21/2 (Sportingbet)
Draw 2-2 @ 14/1 (bet365)
The Correct Score market is always a popular place to turn for punters looking for more bang for their buck. The problem is that this is the sort of match that can change in an instant. Liverpool cut a swathe through Europe last season with some stunning attacking football and whilst they’re not playing in the same style this time around their need for goals should ensure the home side play on the front foot. Napoli are the second top scorers in Serie A and have scored in all but one of their Champions League matches so a bet on both teams to score looks a fairly safe one at 4/7 with Betfred.
If you are looking for a bigger payout from the Correct Score market focus on the score lines that reflect an entertaining match in which the chances are plentiful at both ends. Those who believe Liverpool will be able to get the job done should consider the 3-1 correct score at 21/2 with Sportingbet or even the 33/1 that Coral are quoting on Liverpool winning 4-2.
Mohamed Salah 31/10 (Unibet)
Daniel Sturridge 22/5 (888Sport)
Sadio Mane 23/5 (888Sport)
Roberto Firmino 21/4 (Unibet)
Xherdan Shaqiri 23/4 (888Sport)
Dries Mertens 7/1 (Unibet)
Arkadiusz Milik 17/2 (Unibet)
Lorenzo Insigne 9/1 (888Sport)
It was the front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino who did most of the damage for Liverpool last season in an attacking sense. They’ve not been able to hit their stride in quite the same way yet – and Klopp is sweating over the fitness of Mane along with other players – but he has been buoyed by the form of Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri when called upon this season.
Shaqiri could well be the man to get the nod to start in Mane’s place if the Senegalese star doesn’t make the squad. That would be no bad thing given that Shaqiri has no problem raising his game for the big stage. The Swiss international has scored three goals this season but is yet to notch in the Champions League. That could change on Tuesday night where Shaqiri is 23/4 to score first with 888Sport.
Both teams to score at 4/7 with Betfred
Xherdan Shaqiri to score first at 23/4 with 888Sport