Napoli forward Dries Mertens feels Anfield will not intimidate the Serie A giants as the players are used to playing in such atmospheres in Italy.
The Serie A giants will take to the pitch against Liverpool tonight knowing that a point will be enough to take them to the last 16 of this season’s Champions League.
Liverpool need to win 1-0 or by at least a two-goal margin to reach the next round and the Reds are banking on their rabid home support to take them over the line in Europe this year.
There has been a lot of talk around the role Anfield will play in deciding the game tonight, but Mertens insisted that the atmosphere won’t be too different to what the Napoli players already experience most weeks in Italy.
“I know”, he told the Times when told about the importance of Anfield to Liverpool.
“But football in Italy is crazy and the people are very crazy too so I think we are used to it.
“For me, it will push me to a different level, these are the nights we want to play.”
The Belgian recalled his last experience at Anfield and admits that he was surprised that the famous ‘This is Anfield’ sign was small.
“My strongest memory is that they have a sign saying ‘This is Anfield’ and everyone was talking about it, so I was thinking it’s very big, you know.
“I came through the tunnel and I asked, ‘Where is the thing?’ and they said you missed it and I hadn’t noticed it.
“So, in the second half, I’m looking at this small thing and asking, ‘Is this so special?’”
Mertens could be playing Europa League football for the remainder of the season if Liverpool can gain the result they need at Anfield.