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PRE MATCH: Liverpool vs Napoli (UCL Group C), Tuesday December 11th, 2018, 20:00

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nobluff

Official TIA Match Thread Starter
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This is my first foray as the OP for a Champions League, pre match thread. I have been meaning to stick to EPL, however due to overwhelming demand I have changed my mind (ok, the demand was just @Alright Now).

The mission is in theory simple, Liverpool must win 1-0 or by two goals or more in order to go through to the knockout stages, even though we are conceptually in the knockout stage right now. The bad news is that we have played poorly in the three away games, losing 1-0 in the dying minutes at Napoli, 2-0 against Crvena zvezda, where we were outplayed, and 2-1 at PSG, and we only started playing positively after going down by two goals. The GOOD news is that we have played well at home, we have been positive, and we always seem to deliver in the Champions League, Anfield Night, when we have to. We are currently a wounded animal and have Napoli in our sites.

I expect us to attack from the kickoff, and Napoli to defend, and try hit us on the counter attack. They know a draw is good enough, and they know we have to score. Carlo Ancelotti is an excellent manager, and he knows how to play this kind of game.
Ancelotti says he will attack, which means this was lost in the translation as I don't think there is any way he will play this type of game. Insigne was a thorn in our side when we played them last, so we need to pay special attention to him, without switching off when it comes to the quality of his supporting cast.

The injuries to our squad, the boost in form for several players, combined with the need to put out an attacking side, makes the lineup much easier to predict:

I think the lineup will be:

Code:
           Alisson

TAA    Matip     Virgil   Robertson

     Henderson  Fabinho   Keïta       

     Salah    Firmino     Mane
The only other, conceivable difference in lineup that I can think of, would be Gini, so that would be:

Code:
           Alisson

TAA    Matip     Virgil   Robertson

     Henderson  Fabinho   Gini       

     Salah    Firmino     Mane
If you going to the game, just do what you normally do, that seems to work.

On a side note, it would be awesome if Crvena zvezda beat PSG, thereby sending the merc's to the Europa League.

I believe I have come up with a mathematical formula in order to help me with the score predictions, so according to my calculations it is going to be a 3-0 victory, which by further computations is 3 times what we need.
 

Redopium

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Biggest game of the season, in fact it's the biggest since the champions league final last season, a must win i just can't go in to work on Wednesday and face workmates waiting to take the piss about joining them in the ropey league on Thursday nights, come on Liverpool you got to win this and progress into the last 16. :celebrating::celebrating::celebrating:
 

SithBaare

From Doubters to Believers
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Allison
Taa vvd matip Robbo
Shaqiri fabinho keita
Salah Bobby Mane

Milner to be rested and in the bench as hes the one guy who can play in the most positions. And we need some backup.

Shaqiri fabinho keita is the first choice midfield at this point of time and I'd stick to that , gini could be an option considering he dominates in home matches.

Time for the front three to click and play positive football. Get an early goal and force Napoli to play football. This opens up their defense and creates gaps for us to play off the counter.
 

RedBaron

Curse you RedBaron!!!!
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Biggest game of the season, in fact it's the biggest since the champions league final last season, a must win i just can't go in to work on Wednesday and face workmates waiting to take the piss about joining them in the ropey league on Thursday nights, come on Liverpool you got to win this and progress into the last 16. :celebrating::celebrating::celebrating:

Well, if that does happen just point out the premier league table....
 

Red Armada

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This is truly a do or die game. Get the needed result and progress into the knockout stages. Fail to do so and there will be permutations affecting our league chances.

Napoli are an excellent side. They've been a class above everyone in Italy bar Juventus and with Ancelotti at the helm they haven't skipped a beat. They've got some really good players who can hurt any team in Europe. It will be a hell of an occasion, one that may become another famous Anfield night. We have got to be ready. We have got to perform to our best simple because nothing less will do.

So both players and supporters on the terraces have got to give everything they've got. And keep doing so until the referee's last whistle. Hopefully, it should be enough.
 
C

Caradoc

Guest
This is truly a do or die game. Get the needed result and progress into the knockout stages. Fail to do so and there will be permutations affecting our league chances.

Napoli are an excellent side. They've been a class above everyone in Italy bar Juventus and with Ancelotti at the helm they haven't skipped a beat. They've got some really good players who can hurt any team in Europe. It will be a hell of an occasion, one that may become another famous Anfield night. We have got to be ready. We have got to perform to our best simple because nothing less will do.

So both players and supporters on the terraces have got to give everything they've got. And keep doing so until the referee's last whistle. Hopefully, it should be enough.

If our players are on the terraces we’ve got serious problems ...... :tongue:



lol
 

jaffod

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We need to extend the same courtesies to these that they extended to us in Italy, which were basically fuck all. Make it as unpleasant as possible.
But we're Liverpool so we'll bend over backwards to accommodate them.
 

Billy Biskix

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Hard group and I always thought it would come down to this although I could never have predicted how the results have panned out so far.

First thing we need from this is a clean sheet. We have looked far more open in the CL than we have in the league. Just one clean sheet so far. 1-0 perfectly doable and it can be as ugly as hell as far as I'm concerned but we must not let them score. Second thing I hope is that Anfield is filled with people who are there to generate atmosphere, not just experience it. Hopefully another famous Anfield European night beckons but Napoli are a really good team with an excellent manager and this is going to be tough.
 

Maria

SUPER Champions of Europe VI
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I am too scared to watch this game live. I know I will be missing out on our European Nights, which I love, I just will not be able to bear it health wise if went to the wire and the results did not go our way.

Edit: You know what I am like the last few years.
 

South American Red

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Napoli have the tendency to crumble under presion. We have a good chance.


That said, I would prefer Klopp choice of players to be determined by the United game of the weekend. Europa League is not a bad prospect if we keep the top of the league.

Probably Salah and Van Dijk need some rest, we need everyone fresh to face Mourninho's minions.
 

GermanRed

from doubters to believers to sky-high achievers
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Don’t think Klopp will play it 'safe' - means Shaqiri will start together with the Front3.

Henderson came from the bench yesterday - think that’s a clear sign he’ll start in the CL.

Very hard to predict who will start with Hendo in midfield but I think it will be Wijnaldum. Keita probably our only CM who can make a difference if we need to attack. Fabinho only to come on if a result needs to be secured at the end of the game.

Would also not rule out Milner keeping his RB spot. Think Klopp will prefer Milners experience and positioning over Trents speed.

Alisson
Milner Matip VvD Robertson
Wijnaldum Henderson
Salah Shaqiri Mane
Firmino
 

indianscouser

Anything But Normal
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By far the most important game of the season.
Ancelotti and Napoli can't be underestimated.
We need to be at our ace game if we are to progress.
I hope the atmosphere gives them nerves.
Will go with same team except mane to start over shaquiri.
 

yiannos33

Believe
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I’ll be starting the same team as the last game with the exception of Hendo in for Fabinho.
The Kop will be up for this one and hope will the players.
 

jaffod

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This is truly a do or die game. Get the needed result and progress into the knockout stages. Fail to do so and there will be permutations affecting our league chances.

Napoli are an excellent side. They've been a class above everyone in Italy bar Juventus and with Ancelotti at the helm they haven't skipped a beat. They've got some really good players who can hurt any team in Europe. It will be a hell of an occasion, one that may become another famous Anfield night. We have got to be ready. We have got to perform to our best simple because nothing less will do.

So both players and supporters on the terraces have got to give everything they've got. And keep doing so until the referee's last whistle. Hopefully, it should be enough.
Depends how you look at it. If we go out and are still firmly in the top 4 and title race by the time the Europa re-starts then we might as well play the ressies. It'd be pointless killing ourselves trying to win the Europa to qualify for the CL if we look nailed on for top 4. Might as well put everything into trying to win the PL.
It'll be interesting because there's a good chance us, Arsenal, Spurs and Scumski could all be in the same boat.
 

Incognito

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With Trent and Hendo being rested mid week, expect both of them to start. Also Matip put in a decent outing and would prefer the CB pairing to remain consistent for a few games. The only two MF spots then can have Gini/ Fab/ Milly/ Keita and Shaqiri. With Shaqs and Keita withdrawn early mid week, I expect them to start to make a very attacking line up.

Alisson - Trent, Matip, VVD, Robbo - Hendo, Keita, Shaqs - Salah, Mane, Bobby!

Prediction : Leading 2-1 at 90th minute and then a Hendo screamer to sort it out and make TIA go nuts. :tongue:
 

Alright Now

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Thanks, @nobluff . I feel better about this already now. Looking forward to your going WWWW.

Going to be watching this somewhere in London. I was told the Euston Flyer is a good spot. If anyone else has recommendations or would like to meet, please let me know.

And then taking the train to Liverpool on the 14th. After 35 years of dreaming, I’m almost there! And I know @nobluff will set the table perfectly for that one.

YNWA
 

Koon

Very bad englando. I'm so sorry.
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I think it's all about Shaqiri or Keita. One will start, the other will sit.
AA will start along Matip, Henderson and Gini (I don't like this duo, but Klopp does)

My only question it about the system. We could play either 4-4-1-1 with Mané and Keita/Shaqiri on the wings or 4-3-3 with Keita playing the 8 position and Firmino 9 with Salah and Mané on the wings.

So: Alisson; AA, Matip, VVD, Robertson; Gini, Henderson, Mané, Shaqiri/Keita; Firmino, Salah.

Either way, I'm kind of relaxed about this game. In case we are eliminated, I don't even care that much because we are in such a good position in PL that the silver lining of being eliminated might just be EPL title. But obviously I'd like us to go through the 16. Also don't care too much about EL, just rotate the squad and see what happens.

I can't imagine Napoli not scoring goals at Anfield, we might need three goals. It's certainly not easy, but doable.
 

ptt

2020, head of the table.
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I really think we’re going to batter Napoli. Huge European night at Fortress Anfield, it’s written in the stars guys and girls, Salah on fire and a Mane thunderbolt. Another 4-0. 2019, a year of immense celebration :-)
 

auzziez

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Trashing Napoli would be a great way to get into the knockout stage. With United up next and the Christmas frenzy in waiting, CL knockout stage qualification would be one monkey I would be delighted to get off our back, by means of qualification tomorrow night.
Winning the Merseyside derby in the last seconds, then winning 3-1 away from home (after being a goal down) against Burnley and latest 4-0 win at Bournemouth seems to suggest we are in the right way upwards. And thus definitely justifying our sentiment of expecting to thrash Napoli. After all it is the famous European Night as Anfield. A game where we need a result, a result which the team has more often than not delivered, when asked to. With the Anfield crowd with all their backing.
BUT. There is one name in the opposition team sheet that worries me. And it's not Insigne, Hamsik, Milik, Allan or Koulibally. Actually none of those players who wear the blue to represent Naples worries me.
It is this guy named Ancelotti. His well drilled and tactically astute team worries me, especially when they know they don't really need to win.
Then on our side we have Klopp, who sort of reinvented himself this season. I don't expect heavy metal football and thrashing of Napoli. I expect it to be a great tactical battle between two great managers. Yes, it will eventually be decided by the players on the field. But I think it will be the manager and his players who got this right.
Rooting for our boys to make this a fantastic game. But I wouldn't lose my sleep if Carlo got it right. One of those rare managers whom I look up to, and who I think Klopp, players and fans shouldn't be ashamed of loosing to.

That said, I will still lose my sleep for some time if we lost. Occupational hazard of being a Liverpool fan. lol
 

Red_Jedi

Anfield kick about
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Well I have a ticket for this one, but will find out exactly where on Tuesday afternoon. I'm sure it is inside Anfield!

We've only let in 1 goal at Anfield in both the prem and Champs League thus far so can see us keeping that record up. Additionally I am sure we will score a few too, I still don't feel we have hit full throttle - and can see it starting to form.

Biggest game of the season so far, but feel up for it.
 

GermanRed

from doubters to believers to sky-high achievers
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Italian team with an italian manager that don't need to win with a referee (Damir Skomina) we never won when he was in charge.

Could be a very frustrating night with 95 minutes of bus parking, time wasting and cheating.

Edit: The pessimist in me tells me we could have that twice this week.
 

sms1986

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We needed something in the final match back in 2004/05 against Olympiakos and we got it, look how that turned out! The stage is set for a massive European night at Anfield.
 



William Clarke

REDSHIRT ~ I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
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I'm hoping we hit a goal streak against Napoli, but find it hard to have confidence against an Italian side who are second in their league. We'll need a heap of good luck for us to progress. My fingers will be tightly crossed and fervently hope our luck will be in.
 

Scott Jones

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I think we'll thrash them 4-0 after a lacklustre and frustrating first half where we rip our hair out whilst leaving our bottom lip scraping the floor,panic,annoyance and your heart trying to painfully explode through your rib cage,don't you just fucking love it.
 

Red Eyes

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Agree we need to break them in the first 30 mins with a high tempo start.

If we go into the last 30 mins level or just one goal ahead, it's going to get very very nervy.

This has got all the ingredients for another special European night, can't wait
 

Dane

NEXT!
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If we lose, and Red Star manage to turn over what will undoubtedly be a weakened PSG side (unlikely), we finish bottom of the group.
I wouldn't be happy, but it would be preferential to finishing in 3rd.
 
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