Liverpool are not favourites against ‘cheeky b******s’ Napoli, says Jurgen Klopp


Jurgen Klopp has a lot of respect for Napoli (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that his side go into their Champions League clash with ‘cheeky b******s’ Napoli as the underdogs on Tuesday night.

The European champions begin the defence of their title with an away trip to Napoli, a fixture they faced last season and lost 1-0.

The Reds were beaten 1-0 thanks to a last minute Lorenzo Insigne goal at the San Paolo and Klopp admits that his side struggled to deal with Napoli’s tactics that night last October.

‘We talk a lot about intensity. The Napoli game last season was not intensity. It was an organisation problem,’ Klopp said in a pre-match press conference.

‘We were just not… all the things we do, all the things we tell the boys, it is all about intensity and how much we have to invest, but before that it is all about information, what do you have to do in these moments?

‘Napoli plays a specific style. To make it very simple, we played against them in our defending like they had one No.6 but they had two sixes, the cheeky bastards!

‘We knew before [the game]. We told them they had two sixes, but then everyone came too late and that was when it started. We tried to change it in the game and nobody listened and nobody could change. In the end they were lucky they scored [a late goal] but we were lucky it was only 1-0. It was really this kind of off day.’

Lorenzo Insigne scored in Napoli’s 1-0 win over Liverpool last season (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool won the reverse fixture at Anfield last season, so Klopp does know how to get the better of Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

However, despite winning the Champions League in June, he insists that the Serie A side should be the favourites with the bookmakers on Tuesday evening.

‘We have to invest whatever we have. We cannot play against Napoli deep in your own half, that doesn’t work,’ continued the German.

‘So we have to do what we are good at but make sure it fits for Napoli and then we have that chance there but we don’t go there as a favourite.

‘Yes, we won the competition last season but you know it is difficult. They are a very strong side, runner up of Italy two or three years in a row, really close to Juventus this year so it is a really strong team.’

Napoli boss Ancelotti does not agree with Klopp that the Reds are underdogs and says his team need the ‘perfect game’ to pick up three points.

‘It’ll be a hard-fought match as we’ll be facing the best team in Europe. We hope to get the same result as last season,’ said the Italian.

‘We defended very well against them last season, and the defensive aspect is very important in games like these.

‘I expect a team capable of defending when necessary, attacking when the opportunity arises and keeping the ball when needed. We’ll need the perfect game.’

Klopp is sweating on the fitness of left-back Andy Robertson who missed training on Monday due to a slight knock.

He is in Italy with the rest of the squad but remains a doubt for the clash with Napoli and will face a fitness test on the day of the match.

Striker Divock Origi has not traveled with his team-mates due to an ankle injury that will keep him out for at least the next week.

MORE: Carlo Ancelotti says Napoli need the ‘perfect game’ to beat Liverpool in the Champions League

MORE: Andrew Robertson an injury doubt for Liverpool’s Champions League clash with Napoli





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