Preview: Ajax vs. Napoli – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole preview Tuesday’s Champions League clash between Ajax and Napoli, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

The group leaders meet on the third day of the Champions League Group A match Naples Journey to Third Place ajax at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Ajax have had a promising start to the season so far, defeating Scottish side Rangers, followed by a narrow loss to English giants Liverpool at Anfield.

On the other hand, visiting Napoli defeated Liverpool in a comfortable win before pushing past Rangers at Ibrox for maximum points.

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Ajax's Mohammed Kudus celebrates his first goal with Steven Berghuis on September 13, 2022©Reuters

In his first season as Ajax coach Alfred Scheuder started the process positively on both the national and European fronts.

After eight games in the 2022/23 Eredivisie season, Ajax are second in the table and have lost just one game in the season Champions Leaguethey got off to a solid start even in a relatively competitive group.

There were no goals on the first day of the game Edson Alvarez, Steven Berghuis, Mohammed Kudus and Steven Bergwijn gave the reigning Dutch champions a convincing win over Rangers in a brilliant attacking performance.

Next up was a visit to Anfield on Matchday 2 to take on Liverpool, where de Godenzonen suffered an unfortunate loss through goals from de Godenzonen despite an impressive 1-1 equalizer from Mohammed Kudus Mohammed Salah and late Joel Matip Winner.

Nonetheless, Ajax are in an encouraging position as the group reaches half-time.

They are the competition’s third-best scorer with five goals, while Kudus and Berghuis were particularly dangerous in the last third with two goals and two assists respectively.

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Schreuder’s men have carried those attacking skills over to domestic competition, scoring 23 goals in the Eredivisie, which is the second-best conversion record in the Dutch top flight.

The four-time Champions League winners are hoping to qualify for the knockout rounds of the tournament, which they did last season before falling to Benfica in the Round of 16 Eric ten Hag.

It has become more difficult for Ajax to reach the final stages of Europe’s premier competition over the past two decades, although they braved the odds brilliantly in 2018-19, reaching the last four.

In a must-win clash against a dangerous Napoli side, they’re hoping for a positive result that will give them a big boost in their quest for Champions League KO football.

Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa celebrates scoring for Napoli on October 1, 2022©Reuters

Napoli have got off to a great start in 2022-23 and are currently at the top of both Serie A and Champions League Group A Luciano Spalletti. Impressively, they are unbeaten in all competitions this season and are currently one of the best attacking sides on the continent.

Throughout the Champions League group stage, Napoli have scored seven goals in their two games, which is the most goals of any team participating in the tournament.

Domestically, they have the best offensive record in the Italian top flight, where they have scored 18 goals in eight games, while also being tight at the other end, conceding just six goals.

Spalletti made an eye-catching appearance on matchday one of the Champions League against 2021-22 finalists Liverpool at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium, scoring a brace Piotr Zielinski next to gates André Frank Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Simone gave the hosts one despite a brilliant victory Luis Diaz respond to reduce arrears.

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In the second round of games, Napoli continued their reckless form away at Rangers in Ibrox with a 3-0 win Matteo Politano Penalties and late punches out Giacomo Raspadori and Tanguy Ndombele.

Napoli have never been a household name when it comes to advancing to the latter stages of the Champions League. Their best performances came in 2019-20, 2016-17, 2011-12 and 1990-91, where they managed to reach the round of 16 or second round equivalent.

However, they won the 1988/89 UEFA Cup by defeating the German side Stuttgart 5-4 on aggregate in two games.

Should they defeat Ajax on Matchday 3, Gli Azzurri will take a big step closer to their aspirations to get deeper into the competition.

Ajax Champions League Form:

Ajax form (all competitions):

Napoli Champions League form:

Napoli form (all competitions):

Team News

Edson Alvarez celebrates his goal for Ajax on September 7, 2022©Reuters

Ajax will be without Ahmetcan Kaplan for visiting Napoli because of cruciate ligament rupture.

At the same time full-back Jorg Sanchez He is expected to be out of contention due to knee problems that have prevented him from playing in the last two games.

borrower Mohammed Ihattaren is a serious doubt for the clash due to fitness issues, with his likely timeframe for a return to action currently unknown.

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Regarding the visitors, Victor Osimhen may struggle to recover in time for the trip to Amsterdam as he battles a biceps femoris muscle injury.

Apart from this, Gianluca Gaetano is ruled doubtful for the match on matchday three due to contact with a virus.

Both managers will have most of their squad to choose from, otherwise it should be an interesting spectacle at the Amsterdam ArenA.

Ajax possible starting line-up:
pasveer; Rencsh, Wood, Bassey, Blind; Berghuis, Alvarez, Taylor; Tadic, Kudus, Bergwijn

Napoli possible starting line-up:
meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim, Rui; Zambo Anguissa, Lobotka; Kvarachelia, Zielinski, Politano; Simeone

SM words green background

We say: Ajax 1-2 Napoli

In a hard-fought game in Amsterdam, we expect plenty of chances from both sides and an open game that could leave them vulnerable to counterattacks.

Still, Napoli will manage to fight their way through the Ajax rearguard through sheer quality in the last third. Their offensive arsenal will prove to be too much for Ajax in the end and give them a narrow win.

For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, goal scores and more for this game, please click here.

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