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Benitez Warns Liverpool Ahead Of Champions League Cracker With Napoli

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Former Reds manager Rafa Benitez sees Khvicha Kvaratskhelia as the biggest threat for Liverpool in tonight’s Champions League match at the Stadio Maradona.

Napoli and Liverpool meet at the Stadio Maradona in the Champions League Group A opening match tonight.

The Partenopei won their last away game at Lazio 2-1, while the Reds picked up a 0-0 draw in the derby with Everton.

Jurgen Klopp has lost three games from three in Naples in his career but won the only meeting with Luciano Spalletti in 2014, a Champions League clash between Zenit and Borussia Dortmund.

Benitez believes that newcomer Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will be the main threat for the Reds tonight.

“He will be an unfamiliar name to many people, but he poses a huge threat to Liverpool,” he told The Times.

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“He is a young player who has made an enormous impact since joining Napoli in the summer from Georgian side Dinamo Batumi. He had previously been at Rubin Kazan but returned to his homeland after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Speaking to some friends in Italy over the weekend, they said to me that he is the best player in Italy right now. Other people might put forward different players, but what everyone can agree on is how well Kvaratskhelia has taken to Serie A.

“He has been playing as a winger from the left, but he can use both feet, he can dribble on both flanks, he can give passes and he can finish. He has pace and he wants to make his mark in matches,” the former Liverpool and Napoli coach continued.

“At the weekend, he scored the winning goal against Lazio in Napoli’s 2-1 success. That was his fourth goal in five appearances. At 21, he is an excellent talent and that he is doing so well so soon after moving to Italy highlights his mentality.

“Napoli has a good track record of recruiting talent. When I was in charge, we signed Gonzalo Higuaín, Jorginho, Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens, Raúl Albiol and José Callejón which allowed the profile of the team to rise.”

The Georgia international has had a tremendous impact at the Stadio Maradona with four goals and one assist in the opening five Serie A games of the season.

He joined the Partenopei for just €10m replacing the captain Lorenzo Insigne who signed for Toronto FC.

“The danger for Liverpool is everywhere,” warned Benitez.

“The right back Giovanni Di Lorenzo loves to go forward like Trent Alexander-Arnold and the winger on the right side, Hirving Lozano or Matteo Politano, has pace and productivity. They are dangerous in the wide areas along with Kvaratskhelia.”

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