Tuesday November 26 2019
Klopp: 'Napoli sensationally good'

Jurgen Klopp assured Napoli are “a sensationally good football team and will feel they can play completely free” from their domestic problems in Liverpool.

The Champions League clash kicks off at Anfield on Wednesday at 20.00 GMT.

“Mohamed Salah did really good in training, so we’ll see today, but I am not worried. Joel Matip is improving, but still some time away from the team. It’s not something you can rush, we just have to wait,” said the coach in his press conference.

“The biggest mistake would be to think that we’ve won it already. That’s the target, but that’s the same for Napoli, as if they win the game, they are through. That’s how it is.

“Tomorrow night of course we’ll try to win a game that would be massive for us, after the start we had in the group, but if we don’t feel that we are half-way through, it’ll be really difficult.

“Napoli are a very, very dangerous opponent, very strong. They won last year against us in Naples when we were really bad, then again this year when we were not bad, but not good enough to win the game, and gave us a proper fight when they played at Anfield. It’s what they will do again tomorrow night.”

Napoli are in crisis at the moment, without a win in six competitive matches, with Lorenzo Insigne left behind and the squad fined up to 25 per cent of their salary as punishment for a mutiny against club orders to go into a training retreat.

“They are a sensationally good football team. Yes, they haven’t had good results in recent weeks. You can read a little bit about what happened there, but they are not in Italy now, they are in Liverpool and maybe feel relief that they can play completely free.

“Whoever will play for Napoli will be an outstandingly strong player. And if there’s any manager in the world who doesn’t need advice from anybody, certainly not from me, that’s Carlo Ancelotti. I hope to have a chat with him before and after the game, but none of it will be about football.”

Klopp was asked how he would’ve reacted if he’d been in Ancelotti’s shoes when the players refused to go into the club-ordered training retreat.

“Hmm…” replied Klopp and nothing else for some time. “The club structure in England is slightly different to in Italy. They don’t ask us to do things like that.

“I had some experiences, a long, long time ago, where they worked out well, but I have no idea what happened or why they did what they did.

“What we expect is that it will make them stronger, absolutely. Whatever happened, and I don’t know exactly, as a player I would try to bring the group together and fight everything on the outside.

“Carlo Ancelotti is one of the most experienced managers in world football and will know how to deal with that. Having said that, we need to show from the first second that this is a different place. They are experienced, technically strong, have super players, speed, so it’s a really difficult game for us.

“The things around won’t influence them and they will be able to focus on football. That makes it a proper football game.”

Klopp was asked about the recent odds on this game having Liverpool as favourites to win 3-0.

“I am German, we don’t bet! We don’t give our money to other people! I don’t understand betting at all. I would wish for that result, but I don’t see it at the moment. We have 95 minutes to get whatever result makes us happy.”

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