By 90Min
September 18, 2019

If you're a Liverpool fan, you'd best prepare yourself mentally for what could be a tricky set of Champions League away days to come.

A classic case of deja vu occurred in Naples on Tuesday night, as for the second successive season, Jurgen Klopp's men fell to a deserved defeat in Italy at the hands of SSC Napoli.

Unquestionably a tight encounter with chances falling to both sides, it was the home outfit who stole the points via the penalty spot (stole being the key word depending on your penalty award opinion), with Fernando Llorente snatching a second in stoppage time.

In doing so, it has dampened the spirits of the traveling faithful, who are now growing alarmingly accustomed to failures on the road.

Granted, having just won the Champions League last season that may come across as harsh, but the stats don't lie. And Opta certainly don't.

Liverpool's defeat in Italy means the club have lost six of their last eight matches on the road in the competition - winning the other two - making painful reading for the supporters who still have visits to Austria and Belgium penciled into their calendars.

The only wins they've picked up during that run include fine showings against Bayern Munich and Porto in last season's competition, but equally includes disappointing defeats away, even at Red Star Belgrade. 

If history has shown us anything then we know their home form is enough to see them through all the way to the final, yet there is no questioning there are improvements to be made.

Unsurprisingly, however, this trend is a new one for the club. Their opening day defeat of this new Champions League season is only their second ever at the beginning of the competition.

In all their curtain raisers in the tournament, the club have amassed six wins and four draws from their 12 games, with the only other defeat coming in a 2-0 home defeat to Valencia in 2002. While failing to win away is becoming a familiarity to Liverpool fans, doing so on the opening day most certainly isn't.

But, perhaps it isn't the players' fault. Could it be, the manager? Well at least in regards to Tuesday's defeat, it could be.

Since beating Udinese 2-0 while in charge of Borussia Dortmund, Klopp has lost on his last five visits to Italian sides in all competitions (P5 W0 D0 L5). It would appear the German doesn't have a bogey team, more, a bogey country. Well, away from home, that is.

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

While the loss at the Stadio San Paolo falls under the category of 'early days', a trend is emerging that Klopp and co will be most keen on averting as soon as possible. Smashing records in the Premier League is light work for the Anfield outfit, but they'll need to move quickly to halt a (potential) Champions League slide.

That said, this happened last year and they won the competition. So, best not get ahead of ourselves.

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