This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
With just two games left, Liverpool are sitting pretty at the top of their Champions League group.
The Reds have picked up nine points so far from their first four matches, having won twice against Genk and once against RB Salzburg. However, they have lost one game, which was against Serie A side Napoli, who they will face in their next European match.
Whilst the clash will be played at Anfield, the Italian side are still a dangerous proposition considering the number of quality players currently on their books. However, it seems the Merseyside outfit have been handed a huge boost by recent events at the club.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the future of six first-team players are up in the air. With Napoli currently in seventh place in the country’s top tier, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon could be leaving in January, whilst Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne, Elseid Hysaj and Faouzi Ghoulam are all said to be in danger next summer.
According to Transfermarkt, that is £203.4m worth of talent that is potentially on the block.
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This comes after Napoli threatened to sue their own players after they returned to their homes rather than to the training ground after a 1-1 draw with Salzburg.
In a statement, the Italian side said: “The club announces that, with reference to the behaviour of the players yesterday, Tuesday November 5 2019, it will proceed to protect its rights on an economic, capital, image and disciplinary levels in every competent jurisdiction.”
Whilst this is obviously bad news for Napoli, it is perfect for Liverpool. Clearly, this will affect morale in the team, and it is hard to see them going to the north of England with as much togetherness as would usually be the case.
To get a result at the Premier League leaders, they would need to be at their best. Even at the greatest of times, it is a difficult place to go.
As such, Liverpool must take advantage of this turmoil and secure their spot in the next round. If they fail to win, it could mean them needing a result in their final game of the group against Salzburg, who they struggled to beat 4-3 at home. They cannot afford to put themselves in that situation.