Champions League groups don’t come much tougher than Group C in this year’s competition.
As soon as the draw was made, pitting Liverpool against French champions Paris Saint-Germain, Serie A contenders Napoli and Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade, mouths watered at the prospect of some tantalising clashes.
With just two games remaining in the group stage, Group C has not disappointed, with all four teams harbouring genuine hopes of progression, top and bottom separated by just two points.
Liverpool sit second, level of points with Napoli on six points but trailing the Italians due to their defeat at the San Paolo in October. PSG are third, on five points, with Red Star on four.
As such, with the Reds travelling to the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night before finishing up at home to Napoli, Jurgen Klopp’s men could really use a positive result to ensure their safe passage to the last 16.
Our friends at Football Whispers are on hand here with a betting preview of Liverpool’s key clash in Paris.
The names roll off the tongue: Neymar, Mohamed Salah, Kylian Mbappe, Roberto Firmino, Edinson Cavani, Sadio Mane – some of the very best attacking talent in the world will be on show in the French capital when PSG host Liverpool.
Indeed, both sides could make a very reasonable claim to possess the finest, most potent front three in all of Europe.
Despite Liverpool’s outstanding defensive record this season, with the Reds conceding just five goals in 13 Premier League games to date, backing both teams to score here looks like a pretty safe bet.
Roberto Firmino’s stoppage-time strike gave Liverpool a dramatic win when these sides met at Anfield in September. The Reds had raced to a 2-0 lead, only for Thomas Meunier and Kylian Mbappe to peg them back.
It was a thrilling encounter with little to separate the two talent-rich sides in the end. And a closely fought tie is anticipated once again on Wednesday night.
With Liverpool likely to fancy their chances of beating Napoli on home soil in the final group fixture and PSG confident of seeing off Red Star, a draw would not be a bad result for either side, while the prospect of defeat could have disastrous consequences. As such, honours ending even seems a distinct possibility.
Star man Salah
There were concerns earlier in the season that Salah was not quite recapturing the form which saw him plunder a stunning 44 goals last term.
However, with eight goals and two assists in his last nine outings for club and country, it’s safe to say there was no need to worry about Liverpool’s Egyptian magician.
Now well established as one of the finest goal-scorers in world football, Salah is a fearsome prospect for any defence – PSG included.
What markets to look out for
The first goal-scorer market is as hotly contested here as you are ever likely to see, with all of the aforementioned world-class attackers short odds to open the scoring. Neymar and Cavani lead the way as joined favourites, but there might be real value in either Mbappe or Salah, priced slightly longer.
*Odds subject to change
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by Tom Bodell