Europe’s best v worst – Rangers need a miracle in Naples

Europe’s best v worst – Rangers need a miracle in Naples
NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 12: SSC Napoli players celebrate the victory after the UEFA Champions League group A match between SSC Napoli and AFC Ajax at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on October 12, 2022 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Zero losses. Just 2 draws. Top of the table in Italy, and one of only two sides in the UCL to have won all four matches up till matchday five, Napoli are the most in-form side in Europe surpassing even PSG’s stellar start to the season, and Rangers fans fear an absolute mauling tonight.

So, let’s put that in perspective – Europe’s best team as things stand right now, up against the UCL’s worst team – it’s no surprise fans are ‘bricking’ it.

The reality is this could be one of the toughest European nights in Rangers’ history – we have no defence, no midfield, and just one goal in this tournament. The team surprised everyone with a good first half showing v Liverpool, and punched above its weight till half time, but the loss of Goldson changed the match entirely and led to a ritual slaughter.

Napoli are leagues, chasms better than Liverpool (who are garbage), and we’re on their patch as they bid to win the group outright tonight.

There are hopes they won’t field their strongest team but the weekend match is a visit from modest Sassuolo so it’s not like our hosts need to save themselves – they could rest some, yes, but the reality is one look at their team sheet is telling:

Napoli don’t really have any single superstar players – they have a machine, a squad, and if one guy drops out, another one will just replace him. Luciano Spalletti really has built something useful here, and while we don’t expect them to do massive damage in the KO stage (been known to be wrong, mind you) they are a gulf in class better than the dross in Group A.

Group of death indeed – only good team is the Italians, rest are all very poor indeed.

And Napoli’s record at home this season is pretty terrifying – they have dropped points there just once, to Lecce of all sides, randomly enough. So either you can take the view they can be got at by anyone willing to try (Ajax did score a couple too) or they’ve been close to imperious at the Diego Maradona.

Either way, Rangers will have to bring their a-game to simply not be absolutely tonked in Italy.

Can’t say we’re looking forward to this one at all.

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