Liverpool’s defence of the Champion’s League begins with a visit to Napoli. The sides previously met at this stage of last year’s competition.

Napoli emerged victorious from this fixture last year but where ultimately dumped out at the group stage after failing gain the point they needed to progress when travelling to Anfield on match day six.

With a solid core of great players this trip to Napoli is undoubtedly the toughest fixture Liverpool will face in Group E.

 

To emerge victorious the Reds will need to ensure these three key players aren’t allowed to dictate the game as they do often for Napoli.

(Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images )

Kalidou Koulibaly is Napoli’s rock at the back. He is as instrumental to their defence as Virgil Van Dijk is to ours. With his leadership Napoli restricted a free scoring Liverpool side to one goal in two games last season. Liverpool’s forwards will need to be at the top of their game to get past Koulibaly’s defence in Naples.

. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Fabian Ruiz has become one of the most wanted men in world football. The Spaniard is currently being linked with Europe’s elite clubs, including Liverpool. The left footed midfielder has been superb since joining Napoli from Real Betis last summer. From a central role he can dictate play, it’ll be up to Liverpool to stop him.

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Dries Mertens looks to be the leading man in this Napoli team. The 32-year-old striker netted 20 times in all competitions last season and continued his good form after a summer break. With three goals in as many Serie A games he is the league’s leading goal scorer. Mertens netted twice as Napoli beat visitors Sampdoria 2-0 on Saturday, he’ll head into the Liverpool game confident of getting more goals.

 

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