• Analysis

Liverpool can crash out of UEFA Champions League

Liverpool Napoli Champions League Salzburg
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The reigning European champions need to be careful if they are to match their domestic ambitions with another assault on the continent.

Group E is evenly poised. With the exception of Racing Genk, all three of Napoli, Liverpool and RB Salzburg, have a chance to progress in UEFA Champions League.

Liverpool lead the group standings with the final round of fixtures to play. They have a slim one point advantage over Napoli with 10 points against their name.

They travel to Austria and take on the challenge of Erling Braut Haaland at the Red Bull Arena. The young Norwegian striker has caught the attention of world football with his goal scoring exploits in Austria and the Champions League.

Haaland is in the form of his life, troubling the scorers 28 times in his 24 outings. But more remarkable are his feats on the continent, hitting the back of the net 8 times from five fixtures.

His goals have not only come against the inferior defense of Genk but also against Liverpool at Anfield and Napoli at the San Paolo.

With Haaland in their ranks, Salzburg would be dreaming. Jesse Marsch would believe they can claim a victory after troubling Liverpool at Anfield. They suffered a 4-3 defeat in their away meeting and will have extra motivation at home.

Salzburg and Napoli can crash Liverpool’s party

Liverpool will need a positive result to ensure they qualify for the knockout rounds. A draw will ensure qualification as group leaders, provided Napoli draw or lose against Genk. A win will mean the Reds have control of their destiny.

A Napoli win will put everything in the air. The Italian giants have been unimpressive in the current campaign but have shown their pedigree in Europe. They bested Liverpool at home and secured an important away draw at Anfield.

And the Partenopei would want to win against the unfancied Belgians. Genk have not impressed in the current season but are no push overs. They can trouble the Blues and Ancelotti will be wary off them.

Anything but a win at San Paolo will be accepted by the Neapolitan fans. Their season in Serie A is in tatters and only European competition will salvage their reputation.

A Napoli and Salzburg win will dump the Reds out of the elite European club competition. The win for the Blues will complicate matters for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

As it stands, Liverpool cannot relax against Salzburg. The Austrians wont, especially at home. Neither will Napoli, not against Genk, not against anyone.

Expect entertaining encounters in Group E. All three sides will like to be masters of their own destinies.