Rangers are in complete catastrophe following back-to-back 4-0 defeats against Celtic and Ajax. Although they are back at Ibrox after a couple of tricky ties on the road, things could go worse on Wednesday night against Napoli who demolished Liverpool 4-1 in their previous Champions Lague fixture.
Gli Azzurri were lethal high up the pitch and headstrong at the back when they hosted the Reds in Naples last midweek. The Gers, on the other hand, looked vulnerable in Amsterdam and a massive turnaround must be scripted tomorrow night to avoid further humiliation. They have shown sheer grit and determination during the qualifiers as well as playoffs and it remains to be seen whether the same could be replicated against the Serie A hotshots.
Rangers vs Napoli: Talking Tactics
Giovanni van Bronckhorst must find a suitable partner of John Lundstram deep down the midfield. A double pivot did the trick during the previous campaign and a similar gameplan needs to be executed to reduce frailty in deep defence. The Dutch boss should stick to his 4-2-3-1 formation but with a better selection of starting XI.
Luciano Spalletti opted for a 4-2-3-1 versus the Merseysiders. But the flexibility of his midfield stars allows him to tweak the setup during the match. André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Stanislav Lobotka will snatch, hold and distribute the ball down the wide, and the shaky Rangers backline must deal with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Hirving Lozano who have been menacing from the flanks.
The absence of Tom Lawrence is a significant setback for the Gers, given the Welshman’s form and finesse as a playmaker. Ianis Hagi remains a long-term absentee, whereas the likes of Alex Lowry, Kemar Roofe, John Souttar and Filip Helander are still recovering from their respective problems.
Rangers Predicted XI
McLaughlin; Tavernier, Goldson, Sands, Barisic; Lundstram, Kamara; Wright, Tillman, Kent; Colak
Victor Osimhen suffered a second-degree lesion in his right femoral bicep against Liverpool. The absence of the prolific ‘number 9’ is indeed a blow for Napoli.
Napoli Predicted XI
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim, Olivera; Anguissa, Lobotka; Lozano, Zielinski, Kvaratskhelia; Simeone
Antonio Colak had a couple of difficult outings, but the Croatian hitman is capable of making a difference if chances are created from the wings by the likes of Ryan Kent and Malik Tillman. Lundstram must marshall the defensive third as well as prevent Napoli from dominating the midfield game.
Napoli parted ways with Lorenzo Insigne and replaced him with Kvaratskhelia. The Georgian has been a joy to watch, thanks to his pace, flair and footwork. The playmaking traits of Piotr Zieliński, the physicality of Anguissa and the composure of Lobotka should see them pulling the strings from the centre of the pitch.
Rangers vs Napoli: Streaming Links
|United Kingdom||BBC Radio 5|
|Italy||Sky Sport Football|
|New Zealand||Spark Sport|