For those hoping Napoli had a bit less to play for tonight than normal, with passage secured and victory in the group more or less certain as well, sadly, the Neapolitans have something huge to go for at the Diego Maradona…
Luciano Spalletti’s side currently sit on the joint-best club run in Napoli’s history, with 11 wins in a row, and are looking to write themselves into the record books by becoming the first incarnation of a Napoli side to ever win 12 in a row, which would be glorious for them.
Unfortunately, all that stands in their way is a bedraggled Rangers side who have failed to impress at all this season, and instead of building on a stunning European season last campaign, have gone drastically backwards and are starting to leak that poor return onto the domestic stage too.
So, Napoli have the winning of Group A and therefore an ‘easier’ KO opponent on the line, as well as a historic record which would make them one of the greatest Napoli teams to ever grace the turf of football.
This only makes things harder for Rangers, as if they weren’t tough enough. When the draw was made, Liverpool away was the one fans were afraid of – things have very much changed for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side, and it’s now tonight’s journey to south west Italy that is entirely the daunting prospect.
Many have suggested Napoli will field that weakened side we spoke of earlier, but we’re dubious they actually have such a thing in truth. The reality is anything other than being absolutely humiliated tonight is a victory for the travelling side, and of course, let’s not forget no fans will give any backing either in the stadium, due to agreements made as a result of the death of QEII.
No, this could be a long one.