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Jul 28, 2019 at 5pm UK at Anfield
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Preview: Liverpool vs. Napoli - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the pre-season friendly between Liverpool and Napoli at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, including team news and predicted lineups.

Liverpool will be looking to put an end to their winless run when they take on Napoli in their penultimate pre-season friendly at Murrayfield Stadium on Sunday.

The Reds failed to win any of their three matches during the United States leg of their summer tour and they remain without a clutch of star players for this match in Edinburgh.


Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring their first goal with Harry Wilson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on July 14, 2019© Reuters

Jurgen Klopp has had to make do without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Alisson Becker so far this summer, with each of those players being given extra time off because of their international commitments.

The games against Tranmere Rovers, Bradford City, Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting Lisbon have therefore been used as an opportunity to give some fringe players a chance to impress.

Champions League final goalscorer Divock Origi has found the back of the net in three of the Reds' five matches, and the likes of Rhian Brewster, Harry Wilson and Ben Woodburn have also shown promising glimpses.

Fitness is the key aspect at this stage of pre-season, of course, so Klopp will not be too concerned that his side lost two and drew one of their three Stateside friendlies.

With only two more matches to play before the Community Shield showdown with Manchester City on August 4, however, Klopp will be eager to integrate the big-name players back into his ranks.

Salah, Firmino and Alisson are expected to resume training in the coming days and should play a part against Lyon in midweek.

After an "intense" nine days in the United States, as Klopp put it after the Sporting stalemate, it is now back to Britain for Liverpool in this friendly with Italian heavyweights Napoli at Murrayfield.

The days are fast ticking down towards the start of the new season, and the European champions need to start clicking into gear if they are to hit the ground running.

Recent form in pre-season: WWLLD


Dries Mertens in action for Napoli on April 18, 2019© Reuters

Napoli's three summer friendlies thus far have each taken place in Italy and they have had a mixed set of results.

A 2-1 loss to Benevento was followed up with a 5-0 win over FeralpiSalo and a 3-3 draw with Cremonese, though like opponents Liverpool they are also without some key players.

Allan, Adam Ounas, David Ospina and Kalidou Koulibaly are all absent after partaking in international tournaments earlier in the summer.

The midway stage in pre-season marks the start of the real business as far as Carlo Ancelotti is concerned, though, as his side face Liverpool, Marseille and Barcelona over the next fortnight.

Ancelotti has waved goodbye to Amadou Diawara, Carlos Vinicius and Raul Albiol since the end of last season, but those departures have been offset by the arrivals of Konstantinos Manolas, Elif Elmas and Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

More incomings can be expected, meanwhile, as a deal worth around £72m has been agreed with Lille for winger Nicolas Pepe - also linked with Liverpool - and James Rodriguez may also be on his way from Real Madrid.

The challenge for Napoli next season will be to close the gap on Juventus, who finished 11 points better off in 2018-19 to retain the Serie A title for an eighth year running.

With two high profile arrivals expected before the transfer window closes, a solid performance against the European champions in Edinburgh on Sunday will give Napoli supporters every reason to get excited.

Recent form in pre-season: LWD

Team News

Rhian Brewster celebrates his opening goal in Liverpool's pre-season friendly with Tranmere Rovers on July 11, 2019© Reuters

This match will come too soon for Firmino, Alisson and Salah, while Mane is not due to return to training until after the Community Shield clash with Man City.

Origi therefore remains the leading man in Liverpool's attack and is expected to start this match, with support being offered by the likes of Brewster and Wilson.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita are also still absent, Nathaniel Clyne is facing another lengthy spell on the sidelines after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is carrying a knock.

As for Napoli, Allan, Ounas, Ospina and Koulibaly are closing in on a return to club action but will play no part in Scotland this weekend.

Arkadiusz Milik has been strongly linked with a move to Real Betis in recent days, though he is still part of Napoli's squad, as are fellow attackers Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Wilson, Origi, Brewster

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Hysaj, Manolas, Chiriches, Ghoulam; Callejon, Gaetano, Zielinski, Insigne; Milik, Mertens

Head To Head

Liverpool and Napoli have met on four previous occasions in competitive matches.

The Reds have won two of those games, including a 1-0 victory in December's Champions League group match that sealed their progression to the last 16.

Napoli won the reverse fixture 1-0 through a late Insigne goal - their only victory against Liverpool in those four encounters.

Klopp's men were also 5-0 winners when the sides faced off in a friendly in Dublin nearly 12 months ago, setting themselves up for what was a memorable campaign.

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We say: Liverpool 2-1 Napoli

Liverpool will be far from full strength on Sunday due to the absence of their goalkeeper and three first-choice forwards, but they are at a more advanced stage of their pre-season campaign and will be backed by a strong 'home' crowd in Scotland.

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