Rangers vs Napoli predictions: Napoli look too strong for out-of-sorts Rangers

Warren Ashurst
Rangers are already up against it in the Champions League
Rangers are already up against it in the Champions League

Rangers are seeking their first win of the 2022-23 Champions League campaign when Napoli head to Ibrox on Wednesday. 

Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men head into the clash on the back of successive 4-0 defeats against Celtic in the league and Ajax in the Champions League and knowing a second loss in the competition could seriously hinder their hopes of reaching the knockout phase. 

Napoli, meanwhile, are the leaders in Serie A, having avoided defeat in their opening six games, while they earned an emphatic 4-1 victory over Liverpool in their Champions League opener last week. 

Team News 

Rangers have had extra time to prepare for Wednesday's match and Van Bronckhorst is expected to make several changes to the side that lost heavily in the Netherlands. 

Ryan Jack is one player tipped to start, having come on as a second-half substitute last week while experienced midfielder Steven Davis is another pushing for a recall. 

Victor Osimhen will sit out the trip to Glasgow, with the Nigerian striker picking up an injury in the 4-1 win over Liverpool. 

Napoli will hand a late fitness test to Hirving Lozano — the Mexican featured for just 33 minutes of the win over Spezia after feeling unwell. 

The stats 

Hopes would have been high in the Rangers camp following their play-off win over PSV Eindhoven but September has been a month to forget so far. 

The competition stats do not make good reading either, with the Gers having won just two of their last 13 Champions League home ties. 

They should take heart, though, from last season's Europa League run where, after losing their opening group home game to Lyon, they went unbeaten at Ibrox in the rest of the tournament — six matches in total. 

Napoli arrive in Glasgow having lost just one of their last nine Champions League games, which includes a 4-1 win over Liverpool in Naples last week. 

Rangers will be buoyed, though, by their opponents' away form, picking up just one victory in their last 10 Champions League games on the road. 

Luciano Spalletti's men are seven games into their season and remain unbeaten, collecting five wins and two draws both domestically and in Europe. 

Napoli left it late at the weekend, grabbing a 1-0 win over Spezia courtesy of an 89th-minute winner from Giacomo Raspadori, who may have to start at Ibrox with Osimhen missing. 

Surprisingly, these two teams have never met together in Europe and the managers are at different ends of the scale. 

Van Bronckhorst is at the start of his managerial career at 47, while Spalletti is 16 years his elder and has managed nine different clubs. 

The prediction 

Napoli will feel this is the perfect chance for them to take a firm grip on a group, which looked one of the toughest when the draw was made. 

Napoli were full of attacking intent against Liverpool
Napoli were full of attacking intent against Liverpool

The way Spalletti's men harried and chased Liverpool was impressive and they were able to create chances almost at will, Rangers will find it extremely hard to keep them at arm's length. 

Georgian ace Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will be the main threat for the hosts, with the attacking midfielder so hard to pick up as he drifts into dangerous spaces. 

Rangers are capable of grabbing their first goal or goals of the group stages but Napoli look like they will be too strong and should make it two wins out of two.

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