News, Culture & Society

Liverpool Champions League draw verdict: Defending champions face familiar foes Napoli

Defending champions Liverpool face familiar foes Napoli but will fancy their chances of topping Group E including RB Salzburg and Genk

  • Reds lifted the trophy for the sixth time in their decorated history last season 
  • Napoli are familiar opponents having faced Liverpool in last season’s group 
  • Austria champions FC Red Bull Salzburg were also drawn in Group E 
  • The final opponent in Liverpool’s section were Belgian champions Genk 

The defending champions have been draw in Group E alongside Napoli, RB Salzburg and Genk. 

Jurgen Klopp’s men lifted the trophy for the sixth time last term after beating Tottenham and now know the first stage of their journey to repeat the triumph.  

Familiar foes Napoli lie in wait and it will be a tricky trip to San Paolo Stadium but the kings of Europe will fancy their chances of progression. 

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been drawn against Napoli, Red Bull Salzburg and Genk

Verdict on Liverpool’s Champions League opponents? 

Overall, Liverpool fans will be pretty happy with their draw. The travel and calibre of opponent could have been far more severe. 

There was a very real chance that the Reds would not make it out of the group last season before they scraped their way into the last 16. 

It should be plain sailing this time though with RB Salzburg and Genk huge underdogs and only Napoli presenting an obvious obstacle.  

Group E Opponents:

Napoli  

Carlo Ancelotti’s men beat Liverpool at San Paolo Stadium in the group stage last year. The Reds earned revenge to progress at the expense of the Italian side to reach the round of 16 in thrilling fashion. 

Both sets of fans will cast their minds back to an incredible late save from Alisson that ensured Liverpool picked up the victory late on at Anfield.  

Lorenzo Insigne and Napoli are the obvious threat to Liverpool in Group E this season

Lorenzo Insigne and Napoli are the obvious threat to Liverpool in Group E this season

Red Bull Salzburg

Mo Salah and Co will make the trip to Austria to take on the country’s champions.

It will be familiar territory for both Sadio Mane and Naby Keita, both of whom played for the club before moving to Southampton and RB Leipzig respectively.   

Keita scored 17 goals in 59 between 2014 and 2016 and Mane notched 31 in 63 games during his time with the club. 

Genk

Belgian side Genk are the final team to make up Group E. They claimed the domestic league title for the fourth time in their history last season and will relish the underdogs tag against the six-time winners.  

Ianis Hagi, son of legendary Romanian Gheorghe Hagi, will be one to keep an eye on. The 20-year-old has plenty of promise and has already been capped by his national side.  

Ianis Hagi will be one of the Genk players to be watched closely by Liverpool's defenders

Ianis Hagi will be one of the Genk players to be watched closely by Liverpool’s defenders

Total travel distance for the Reds?

The 1287km to Salzburg in Austria, 638km to Genk in Belgium and 1901 to Naples combine for a total of 3826km.

Where will Liverpool finish in group E? 

On paper, this draw could have been far worse for Liverpool and Klopp will be confident his men will top the group. 

He’ll have learned from the defeat in Italy last season and back his side to secure victory against RB Salzburg and Genk. 

That said, complacency must be avoided at all costs and the champions will not have to look far for motivation as they slipped up away against supposedly lesser opponent Red Star Belgrade last season.  

Mo Salah and the defending champions will fancy their chances of topping the group

Mo Salah and the defending champions will fancy their chances of topping the group

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.