Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is wary of a Napoli side he describes as “stubborn in a very positive way” as the Reds begin the defence of their Champions League crown at the Stadio San Paolo.
The clubs have been drawn in the same group for the second season in a row, with Napoli prevailing in the corresponding fixture last term as Lorenzo Insigne’s late strike settled matters.
Liverpool went on to pip Napoli to a spot in the knockout stages – by virtue of scoring more goals after they finished level on points and a number of other determining factors – before going on to lift the coveted trophy.
While the memory of Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat here last October burns bright in the memory for Klopp, the German believes his side showed immediate improvement against title rivals Manchester City in their next outing and did not allow their levels to drop for the remainder of the campaign.
Klopp said: “Directly after the Napoli away game last year, it was a game where we had to defend really well and we improved in three days, did everything right that we did here wrong and kept that going for the rest of the season.
“Am I sure something like that can never happen again? No, of course not. The boys have given me no signs that I have to doubt them but things like this can happen.
“Last year we learned from one game to the next game and this year we have to use that experience because if you don’t defend with all we have then we have no chance against Napoli, they are so strong.
“They are stubborn in a very positive way; they play football, they break lines, they have counter-attacks, they are creative.
“There are so many good football things and I enjoy analysing Napoli when I watch them, it’s really interesting. But it’s not only interesting, it’s difficult as well.”
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