Relishing an unbeaten run since the start of the new campaign, Napoli will face a commendable challenge when they go toe to toe against Rangers on Wednesday evening.
In the opening matchday, Napoli demolished Liverpool, winning the game by a 4-1 scoreline. Courtesy of that win, the Partenopei made a positive start to the Champions League campaign. Now, they visit Ibrox, the den of Rangers, a 55-time Premiership-winning side.
Nevertheless, their current form has not resonated with the illustrious aura of the club. They have lost each of their last two fixtures, including the back-to-back 4-0 thrashings at the hands of arch-rivals Celtic in the Scottish Premiership and then against Ajax in the Champions League, respectively.
Results in the last five matches across all competitions:
Going into the game against the Italian side, Rangers have a couple of absentees, with Nnamdi Ofoborh and Ianis Hagi remaining on the sideline with their respective injury issues.
As for Napoli, there will be no trace of their superstar striker Victor Osimhen as the Nigerian continues to nurse his muscle injury. Giovanni Simeone should be his fitting replacement in the attack. If not, Giacomo Raspadori could also play as a false nine as it was the role he played against Spezia at the weekend.
Rangers(4-2-3-1): McGregor; Tavernier, Sands, Goldson, Barisic; Lundstram, Kamara, Davis; Tillman, Colak, Kent.
Napoli (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Ostigaard, Kim, Mario Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Politano, Simeone, Kvaratskhelia.
All the clubs in the UK, including Rangers, did have a game to play at the weekend due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Now, this break could go either way for the home side. It could either cause them to lose their momentum and worsen the situation further or help them recover from the woeful results in the recent past. Napoli will be licking their lips at the prospect of finding the truth.
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder