THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE returns on Tuesday night. We asked Tom Love (@TomLove_18) to source the best bets from Liverpool's mouthwatering trip to Napoli.
Napoli v Liverpool | Tuesday 17th September 2019, 20:00 | BT Sport
Reigning European champions Liverpool kick-off their title defence with a tricky looking trip to Naples. With a five-point lead at the summit of the Premier League, many may think that this competition will be secondary in the thinking as the Reds will have their eyes firmly on the domestic championship. However, they managed to admirably fight on both fronts last season so there’s no reason why they can’t again.
Massive kudos have to go to the background staff at Anfield, they’ve managed to get the players unbelievably fit and keep injuries to a minimum. It was an unlikely hero for them last season in Europe with Divock Origi providing some crucial moments and they’ll need the majority of the squad to be available again, just in case something different is required.
Jurgen Klopp saw his men come from behind to win against Newcastle at the weekend and one of this sides most impressive attributes is the ability to win against different styles of play, and in different game situations. They’ve won from behind, blitzed teams, won ugly. It’s an excellent effort from all involved.
Napoli brought in Kostas Manolas to partner Kalidou Koulibaly at the back but it hasn’t worked thus far. The Partenopei have conceded three goals against Fiorentina and Juventus respectively, however they did beat La Viola 4-3 in Florence and notched three times in Turin; they followed up by scoring twice against Sampdoria so they’re just as threatening going forward as they have been for a while.
It’s the usual suspects of Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne on the scoresheet more than most. Hirving Lozano has coming in from PSV too – the Mexican has already bagged and he only boosts potential in the attacking ranks.
Carlo Ancelotti will fancy his troops to grab a goal or two given Liverpool’s struggles to keep clean sheets in 2019/20. The visitors have leaked in five of six games this season, including the Super Cup against Chelsea. The Reds’ defensive data hasn’t been as good as last term and they’re conceding more shots and giving up greater opportunities.
Goals and cards on the agenda
I see no reason to oppose a goal-heavy game here. Over 2 Goals and Both Teams To Score is priced up at 20/21 when you combine the two on Bet365’s BetBuilder and that looks a fair price in my eyes. It’s landed in 4/5 Liverpool league games and 2/3 Napoli league games. The hosts will have to play on the front foot in front of their fans you’d think and with the red-hot Liverpool front three about you’d expect goals at both ends.
The card market is also of interest here and I like the look of banking on the hosts to be the dirtier of the two. Liverpool have a remarkably low card record with just two cautions seen in their five games, whilst Napoli have played two fewer games and seen nine yellows handed out.
Given that, I’m surprised we can get some 17/20 on Napoli with a 0 start on the Asian Card Handicap line. It effectively means that if the home side see more cards than their opponents then we get a win but if they’re level on cards then we get our stake back. The only way we lose is if Liverpool are surprisingly dirtier than Napoli and pick up more cautions.