Liverpool must bounce back swiftly in Europe

After achieving the extreme highs of Champions League supremacy last season, Liverpool were quickly brought back down to the earth with a sickening low in their Group E clash with Napoli. The Italian giants ran out comfortable 2-0 winners over the reigning and defending European champions in Naples, as Jurgen Klopp's side had to deal with yet another away setback in the competition. 

Liverpool have strong competition looking to wrest the title away from them with Manchester City aiming for a maiden title and Barcelona desperate to end their recent drought. Therefore, the Reds have now dropped to third favourites at 15/2 with RedBet in the football betting to win the Champions League outright this season, having tasted that disappointing loss at the hands of Napoli in their group opener. The Serie A club were initially seen as the Reds' toughest opposition in their group standings but the result was still somewhat of a shock after such a dominant start to proceedings in the Premier League. 

Klopp's men had won all five of their opening league games in the English top-flight before jetting off to Italian soil for their maiden European outing of the new campaign. But it was a setback they must now swiftly bounce back from if they are to push on towards potentially defending their crown and making history once again. 

Red Bull Salzburg and Genk are the other two teams that await the Reds in Group E. On paper those are games in which maximum points look likely but anything can happen in Europe's elite club competition and the top clubs in the continent have fallen short at the group stages on many occasions. 

Liverpool will be confident of avoiding such an embarrassing fate this term but they must next prepare for a home clash against Red Bull Salzburg in the coming weeks. It doesn't help things when they have Premier League duties as well as the EFL Cup efforts to deal with before they have a chance to try and return to winning ways in Europe at Anfield. But they will have home advantage as a big boost for that next Champions League clash, so Klopp will hope that the electric atmosphere that comes with European nights on the red half of Merseyside will help bolster form and fortunes. 

There were plenty of underwhelming performances in that shock loss to Napoli, most notably from the stand-out players of last season's incredible European success. Andy Robertson was at fault for one of the goals and even deactivated his Twitter account for awhile after an influx of criticism from fans. 

That's not exactly the support needed from fans in order to recover from a loss in a bid to defend the club's crown in Europe. But Klopp will hope to bounce back quickly in Premier League and resume the usual successful streak in the coming run of games before attempting to get on the board with points in their Group E. 

There are plenty more dangerous outfits in the competition than Napoli so the opening result doesn't provide great belief but it looks likely to be just an early blip before recapturing last season's great Champions League form. 

Written by Alan Spence


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