On the third matchday of the Champions League Group A, group leaders Napoli will make the trip to the Amsterdam ArenA to take on Ajax, which is currently in the third position. Ajax’s season has gotten off to an encouraging start thus far.
As seen by their victory against the Scottish team Rangers and their close loss on the road to the English powerhouse Liverpool at Anfield. On the other hand, visiting Napoli eliminated Liverpool with a straightforward win before easily defeating Rangers at Ibrox to earn maximum points.
In both of these matches, Napoli has earned maximum points.
Our Match Preview: Ajax vs Napoli
Alfred Schreuder’s first season as Ajax manager has been successful domestically and in Europe. Ajax is second in the 2022-23 Eredivisie and has lost only one game.
They have also made a great start in a challenging Champions League group. Edson Alvarez, Steven Berghuis, Mohammed Kudus, and Steven Bergwijn scored for Ajax against Rangers on matchday one.
On matchday two, de Godenzonen traveled to Anfield to play Liverpool. Despite equalizing with a Mohammed Kudus surprise, they lost to Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip. Ajax’s midpoint position is promising.
Kudus and Berghuis are the third-highest scorers in the tournament with two goals and two assists, respectively. Schreuder’s team has scored 23 goals in the Eredivisie, the second-best conversion rate in the Dutch top division.
The four-time Champions League champions want to reach the knockout stages after losing to Benfica in the round of 16 last season.
Ajax has found it harder in the previous two decades to reach the later rounds of Europe’s top tournament, but they defied the odds in 2018-19 to reach the quarterfinals. They must win against Napoli to enhance their Champions League hopes.
Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli is now first in Serie A and Champions League Group A. Unbeaten in all competitions this season, they are one of the continent’s top offensive teams. Napoli scored seven goals in two Champions League group stage matches, the most of any side.
They have the greatest offensive record in the Italian top division, scoring 18 goals in eight matches while allowing only six. Spalletti masterminded an eye-catching display on matchday one of the Champions League against 2021-22 finalists Liverpool at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
A double from Piotr Zielinski, goals from Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, and Giovanni Simeone gave the hosts a thumping victory despite a Luis Diaz reply. Napoli beat Rangers 3-0 in the second round thanks to a Matteo Politano penalty kick, Giacomo Raspadori, and Tanguy Ndombele.
Napoli has never been a Champions League powerhouse, reaching the round of 16 only in 2019-20, 2016-17, 2011-12, and 1990-91. In 1988-89, they beat Stuttgart 5-4 on aggregate to win the UEFA Cup. Gli Azzurri will go closer to their goal of advancing if they beat Ajax on matchday 3.
Our Team News: Ajax vs Napoli
Due to cruciate ligament injuries, Ahmetcan Kaplan will be absent from Ajax’s match against Napoli. On the other hand, fullback Jorge Sanchez is out of the running after missing the past two games with knee injuries.
Mohamed Ihattaren, who is on loan from the home team, is in serious doubt to play owing to a nagging injury.
His timetable for a return to action is still unclear. Victor Osimhen, one of the guests, is fighting a bicep femoris muscle injury and may not be well enough to make the journey to Amsterdam. In addition, Gianluca Gaetano is questionable for the third game since he was exposed to a virus.
Otherwise, both coaches may choose from their full rosters for what could be a thrilling showdown at the Amsterdam ArenA.
- Ajax possible starting lineup: Pasveer, Rencsh, Timber, Bassey, Blind, Berghuis, Alvarez, Taylor; Tadic, Kudus, Bergwijn.
- Napoli possible starting lineup: Meret, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim, Rui; Zambo Anguissa, Lobotka, Kvaratskhelia, Zielinski, Politano, Simeone.
Our Prediction: Ajax 1-2 Napoli
We anticipate a high-scoring match in Amsterdam, with both teams playing an open style that might leave them vulnerable to counterattacks.
But Napoli, with their superior skill in the last third, will find a way to break through Ajax’s defense. Their offensive firepower will eventually overwhelm Ajax, leading to a close win for them.