Liverpool vs Napoli - Klopp fears Napoli may put turmoil behind them and rise to the occasion

Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2019 by PA

Liverpool vs Napoli - Klopp fears Napoli may put turmoil behind them and rise to the occasion

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes a Champions League night at Anfield may actually come as a relief to Napoli opponents dealing with significant internal strife.

Reports claim the Serie A club’s president Aurelio De Laurentiis is to fine every player 25 per cent of their monthly salary after they refused to attend a squad training retreat earlier this month.

Fans have turned their anger on the players and the club have imposed a media ban on the squad and manager Carlo Ancelotti from speaking about the turmoil, leading to Italian media labelling the situation “civil war”.

But Klopp remains wary of a side which is the only one to have beaten his team twice in the last year, even if Napoli have not won in their last six matches.

“I expect them really strong for different reasons,” said Klopp.

“Reason number one is they are a sensationally good football team. Yes, they did not have the results in the last couple of weeks.

“I don’t know the reasons but now they are not in Italy, they are in Liverpool, it is a different competition and they may feel a relief they can play completely free.

“What we expect is it will make them stronger. I have no proper idea about what happened but if I was part of the team as a player I would try and bring the group together.

“Carlo is the most experienced manager in world football and is used to dealing with difficult situations so he will make the best of it 100 per cent.

“It is a really difficult game for us and all the things around will not have influence on it. We can focus on football, they can focus on football.”

Like 11 months ago, although not with the win-or-bust high stakes, victory over Napoli will secure qualification to the knockout stage.

That would allow Klopp to rest key players for next month’s final group E game in Salzburg.

Ancelotti insists he has never considered resigning during his 30-year managerial career and did not think of quitting in the wake of the turmoil affecting the Serie A club.

Napoli’s press officer made a statement before their pre-match conference at Anfield explaining the club had refused to speak to the press in recent weeks but would “make an exception” for the Champions League.

t led to a number of searching questions, including Ancelotti being asked outright whether he had considered resigning.“It’s not something I’ve ever done,” said the 60-year-old.

“I guess when things that need to be evaluated and assessed, the confidence and trust the club has expressed its faith in me I think, the players have faith as well.

“But if you don’t have faith and trust and confidence from the players and club you might think about resigning, but I’ve never thought about that.

Perhaps if the club doesn’t trust me and doesn’t have confidence then I might think about it or if the players don’t trust me I might think about it but that’s never happened to me, I’ve never picked up on that kind of signal, it’s never happened in 30-odd years and it’s not happening now.

“It’s a fleeting moment, it’s happening at the moment. There are lots of issues that we will emerge from. You always have issues if you work with other people; you can agree in some moments and other moments you don’t agree.

“Basically you have to have this unity of intent and that’s what we have and that’s what will help us get us out of the situation.”

Napoli, who 11 months ago suffered disappointment at Anfield when they missed out on the knockout stage with a 1-0 defeat in their final group match, could qualify for with a game to spare if Red Bull Salzburg fail to beat Genk. That has given Ancelotti some breathing space.

“Unlike what happened last year when we only had one possibility available to us, we needed to win on that particular occasion, this year given we have been doing pretty well this far, we can either quality tomorrow or if necessary at the end of the final game,” he added.

“The team knows it needs to do better. The club needs to do better and is aware of that. The manager needs to do better and is aware of that as well.”

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