There is an argument to be made that Napoli is the worst team Liverpool could have been paired with in Group A.
And yet Napoli have emerged from it as solid and reliable as ever.
Credit must go to coach Luciano Spalletti - who has found himself in the wars after fracturing his shoulder this week - for the heart he has instilled into this team that can be a real player domestically and in Europe.
He has built a system and instilled a playing style that is so effective it can operate with any combination of players from his squad. The team supersedes the individual.
Napoli go into their opening Group A game against Liverpool brimming with self-confidence
Liverpool will have to learn quickly that Napoli have brilliant players, are physically dominant and possess a desire to prove that they are deserving of their seat at the top table in the Champions League.
Much of the focus at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium will be on the engine room in the midfield, an area of the game Spalletti will look to dominate through star man Stanislav Lobotka.
He is always demanding the ball and has become indispensable as a playmaker in central midfield.
Under Jurgen Klopp Liverpool have rarely struggled to play quick, transition football and Napoli are primed for their high-octane pressing style.
Exploiting the pace of Victor Osimhen, fitness depending, will become commonplace in matches throughout Group A and Liverpool, even if afforded possession, must be aware of the significant threat in behind.
Napoli plays 4-2-3-1 by default and the wider players are fearsome in one-on-one situations.
For neutrals this will be a unique spectacle between, arguably, two of the best teams in terms of style and aggression.
Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti revealed that he fractured his shoulder a couple of days ago
Napoli lost personality more than anything in the summer, iconic players such as Mertens and Insigne that were dominant figures in the dressing room.
But their summer business has emboldened Spalletti to build a team in his image and the new arrivals have hit the ground running.
The key concern for Spalletti and his coaching staff is Osimhen after he reportedly sat out training on Monday.
Giovanni Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid boss Diego, would be the man tasked with replacing Osimhen if he is not deemed fit to start.
Simeone Jnr got a tattoo of the Champions League logo on his wrist at the age of 16, promising himself to kiss it when he bags his first European goal.
If Osimhen fails to recover from muscle fatigue, Simeone will try to keep this promise he made when he was 16 in helping to shoot down Liverpool.
But Napoli know, they aren't without problems that Liverpool can exploit.
MERET IS NAPOLI'S WEAK POINT
If Liverpool are looking for optimism and slivers of hope they can look to Napoli's greatest deficiency: goalkeeper Alex Meret.
On paper he is the team's only weak point and given Liverpool's most positive area of the pitch is their forward line, it spells danger.
The former SPAL goalkeeper is no match for David Ospina, who left the club in the summer on a free, that's the problem.
Meret's doubts and insecurities are evident in his performances but it is also true that he saved a penalty in the match against Lecce and this has re-energised him at a perfect time.
Over the past two years Meret has suffered a lot of pressure from the city and the fans and has lost ground on cracking Roberto Mancini's Italian national team.
Liverpool's biggest opportunity is to try and expose the weaknesses of Alex Meret (middle)
Liverpool have a fearsome attack and will look to pepper Meret's goal to increase pressure
The potential has long been there: consider Meret as a caterpillar that has never managed to blossom into a butterfly.
It said plenty that until the final hours of the transfer market Napoli explored a move for PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Liverpool will have done their homework and targeting Meret will be top of their scouting report.
Shooting as many times as they can will massively increase the pressure on him.
Overcoming defensive rock Kim Min-jae will not be easy and so shooting from 20-25 yards could also prove an intelligent solution in testing Meret early.
Meret's difficulties in managing decisive moments in a match presents a great opportunity for Liverpool to exploit. They know first hand from housing Loris Karius for so long the pitfalls of an uncomfortable goalkeeper as a starter.
KVARATSKHELIA FILLS INSIGNE VOID
With Khvicha Kvaratskhelia in their ranks, the future looks blindingly bright for Napoli.
The 21-year-old has taken over this team, despite his tender years, and is the brightest symbol of Spalletti's new look team.
Kvara - known colloquially as 'Kvaradona' after Napoli icon Diego Maradona - has become the darling of the team among fans.
He is immensely talented but also his shyness is a very rare, but endearing, gift in a city that makes the 'cazzimma' - an egoism and malice - an indelible mark of each of its inhabitants.
The Georgian winger has scored four goals in his last five matches and having arrived for just €10million (£8.6m) Kvaratskhelia, one of Fabio Paratici's favorite young players on the continent, is the envy of every other scouting department.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, nicknamed 'Kvaradona', is the young star of this new-look Napoli team
There is no stage grander than the Champions League and while his experience is limited, expect Spalletti to lean on Kvaratskhelia to go and be his matchwinner against a Liverpool side that is far from unbeatable.
Kvaratskhelia operates from the left and his directness will prove a nightmare if Napoli can whip the home fans into a frenzy. The noise, with the Georgian on the ball, could well be deafening.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has had his defensive capabilities scrutinised already this season and Kvaratskhelia will represent one of his toughest assignments to date.
The ex-Rubin Kazan star is looking for a dominant performance in Europe to further build his confidence and Liverpool's great hope will be in trying to force him into wider, non-threatening areas.
Right now Kvaratskhelia is the best player in Serie A in terms of his performance and the goals he has scored, also considering his role as a winger.
Napoli's 4-2-3-1 game-plan is a perfect tactical system for him as it places great emphasis on the wide players to support the central attacker. Liverpool, you've been warned...
He is direct in his running and has end product to match - making him one of Europe's finest
THE NDOMBELE PROBLEM
Tottenham shipped out Tanguy Ndombele on loan again and it is fair to say since packing his bags for Naples he has endured a difficult period adjusting to Serie A.
Ndombele simply has not yet been able to adapt to Italian football and in the first few games he has shown that he has many physical limitations which will get further exposed in the Champions League.
It is clear so far that Ndombele is the weak link in Napoli's midfield and at the moment boss Spalletti simply cannot consider the Frenchman a potential starter against the Reds.
Of all of Napoli's summer signings, Ndombele is far and away the one who has disappointed most so far.
His decision making has angered Spalletti. Too often his stubbornness has seen him repeat mistakes, pushing the team onto the back foot.
Elif Elmas offers more guarantees at the moment and Ndombele, who has yet to adapt to a team that is very different from Tottenham, needs to shape up fast if he is going to have much say in the outcome of Group A.
Tanguy Ndombele has struggled in recent years and there is little improvement at Napoli
FANS ARE DARING TO DREAM
There is no escaping just how big a match this one is.
Naples is dreaming and the city places a great deal of emphasis on European nights which, result depending, could go on to be historic.
Victory against Liverpool would provide a significant boost in this group's self-confidence and they would return to Serie A, where they currently sit in second, emboldened to kick on in the title race.
Spalletti will look to absorb the passion of the fans and attack Liverpool from the first minute. This will be as much a physical as it will a strategic battle and should Napoli be successful in imposing Spalletti's tactical philosophy against Klopp and Co, this could go down as their latest great European night.
Fans put all their passion into these big European nights and it will be some atmosphere there
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