Liverpool vs Napoli Preview: Anfield awaits titanic European decider 
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Liverpool vs Napoli Preview: Anfield awaits titanic European decider 

Liverpool host Napoli on Tuesday night with their European destiny lying in the balance knowing only a win can see them progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

Joshua Kerr

Liverpool's all-or-nothing clash against Napoli at Anfield awaits. The term 'must-win game' can often be inaccurately used for such encounters.

However, anything other than victory against Carlo Ancelotti's side on Tuesday night will see the Reds eliminated from the Champions League just seven months after reaching last seasons final.

Group C has been without a doubt the most fiercely contested group in the competition with Liverpool, Napoli and Paris Saint Germain's European destinies all hanging in the balance on the eve of Matchday Six.

Liverpool go into the encounter currently sitting third in the group standings, and three points adrift of Napoli. The Reds are also two points behind PSG who travel to Serbia to face Red Star Belgrade.

How can Liverpool progress?

The Reds situation is still in their own hands to a certain extent and Jürgen Klopp's players will know what they have to do to progress. 

If PSG beat Red Star then Liverpool must win either 1-0 or by two clear goals to finish above Napoli. If the Parsiens slip up in Serbia and draw then a Liverpool win will have three teams all locked on nine points.

In that unlikely situation, the Reds would go top of the group by virtue of the head-to-head record between the three sides. This means second place could depend on the final score at Anfield on Tuesday.

The die-hard supporters of the club will no doubt be keeping an eye on the other proceedings, but, the maths is very simple for Liverpool who know a 1-0 triumph or victory by two clear goals will see them inevitably through to the Champions League knockout stages.

Klopp: Liverpool players are 'responsible' for their European destiny 

Liverpool's German manager Klopp has told his players that they will "responsible for the situation" on Tuesday night but can "put it right" as they go into their do-or-die showdown against Napoli.

"We caused the situation, but we still have the chance to go through and that is pretty special," said Klopp. "I'm really looking forward to it." 

Last seasons runners-up have won only won their two home game in this campaigns competition - having lost all three of their matches on the road for the first time in the clubs history.

"We knew after the Napoli game [in the second round of games] it was not good and Belgrade was not any better," Klopp said ahead of the clash at Anfield.

"So far at home we have been good and we need to be even better on Tuesday. I told the boys if nothing special happens with a referee decision we will get what we deserve."

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was also present at Monday's press conference and said: "We want to show we belong in the Champions League.

"We are doing very well in the league and we can show it in the Champions League. It's our own fault we are in this position but we have a way of getting out of it."

Napoli, who only need a point to progress, are unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions and sit second in Serie A.

Team News

Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is likely to return to the side for the must-win Champions League tie at home to Napoli.

The World Cup finalist has missed the last three matches with a concussion but has returned to training so could be in contention to replace Joel Matip.

Forward Sadio Mane is fit to start for the Premier League leaders, after coming on a substitute against Bournemouth following a foot injury.

Captain Jordan Henderson could also return to midfield after being a substitute against Bournemouth at the weekend.

Midfielder Adam Lallana is available following a head injury at the Vitality Stadium.

Predicted line-up

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Mane, Firmino, Salah

Napoli: Ospina, Maksimovic, Albiol, Koulibaly, Rui, Allan, Hamsik, Fabian, Callejon, Mertens, Insigne