Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is stunned, excited and concerned at the Champions League draw. “Napoli again! It was pretty close last year.”
The trophy holders are in the same group as Napoli for the second season running, joined this time by RB Salzburg and KRC Genk.
“Napoli again! I don’t know how often I’ve now played against Napoli, but they’re obviously a very experienced side,” said Klopp.
“The home game we played against Napoli was one of the best games we played because it was so rock solid. It was not allowed to concede against Napoli with the strength they have in counter-attacks.”
Both sides won their home fixture 1-0 in the group stage and finished level on nine points, Napoli eliminated only by a complex calculation of goal difference.
“When they went out last year, it was pretty close – Alisson made a big save in the last seconds, so they will remember that and it will be emotional, I am pretty sure.
“With the other two teams, I know how people are and immediately they will say these are the two 'smaller teams' of the group. They are not.
“I already know they are very young, very exciting and very fresh, so it will be interesting, 100 per cent. It’s not an easy group and not a group where we can hide behind anybody.
“Now we know the opponents, when we were walking off the pitch from training I immediately spoke with Divock (Origi) about playing Genk!
“Of course, Salzburg are famous for bringing through new players, like they did with Sadio and Naby – they’ve found a lot of others, too.
“Salzburg fought for so long and so hard to be part of the Champions League. They will have 30,000 in their stadium who will show how long they were waiting for it.”