James Milner will return to the starting lineup when Liverpool and Napoli face off at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Wednesday.
Liverpool were held to a goalless draw against Everton in the Premier League at the weekend, and they hope to get back to winning ways on Wednesday against Napoli. Meanwhile, Napoli come into this game on the back of a narrow 2-1 win over Lazio, and they will look to extend their unbeaten start to the season with a positive result against the Reds at home.
Liverpool have not won any of the last three meetings with Napoli, and they will have to improve considerably to grind out a vital away result here. The Reds have made a disappointing start to the season by their standards, and Jurgen Klopp will expect his players to step up and produce a quality performance here.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have a number of injury issues to deal with heading into this game. Klopp’s midfield options are depleted because of injuries, and the Liverpool manager will have to rely on the likes of James Milner and Harvey Elliott in a tricky away fixture.
Club captain Jordan Henderson has been ruled out until this month’s international break. Meanwhile, the likes of Fabio Carvalho, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are also unavailable for this game because of injuries.
Thiago Alcantara’s return to training will come as a huge positive for Liverpool, but Klopp has revealed that he will be monitoring the Spanish international’s match fitness, which suggests that Thiago might not start in this game. Klopp said in his pre-match press conference, “He is ready. For how long, we will see.”
Portuguese international Diogo Jota returned to action against Everton at the weekend, and he will be expected to continue on the bench for this game as well. As for the defensive unit, the Reds are without the services of Ibrahima Konate and Calvin Ramsay.
Joel Matip has returned from his injury blow, and it remains to be seen whether Klopp decides to give him a start against Napoli in a bid to reduce the workload on Joe Gomez. As far as the deadline day signing of Arthur Melo is concerned, the Brazilian is not match fit.
Klopp said: “Arthur needs now just football – and training, especially, that’s how it is. He wasn’t in team training for a while at Juve, so he needs proper team training – and that’s what we are doing with him.
“Can he play minutes? Yes. Should he play a full game? No, because he needs to get used to the intensity in each competition. He is doing well, he is really giving his absolute all in training, we have to be careful with him as well and then we will see whether we can use him.”
Alisson Becker is expected to start in goal for Liverpool, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson starting in a back four. James Milner, Fabinho and Harvey Elliott are expected to form the midfield trio for the Reds, with Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz being the front three.
Predicted Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Fabinho, Elliott; Salah, Nunez, Diaz