Fresh off an emphatic 6-1 victory over Ajax at the Johan Cruyff Arena, Napoli will welcome the Dutch powerhouse at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona for a rematch.
Another win for the Neapolitans will assure them of a Champions League knockout stage place.
Apart from avenging the recent humiliation, Ajax need to take points from the game to stay in contention for the knockout stages.
Napoli on fire
Luciano Spaletti’s men affirmed their status as one of the most formidable attacking units in the continent by cruising to a 6-1 win away at Ajax Amsterdam last week.
The Johan Cruyff Arena crowd celebrated an early goal that put the hosts ahead. But, they were soon left in shellshock as the visitors responded by putting half a dozen goals past Ajax custodian Remko Pasveer.
Napoli took their destructive form to Serie A as they demolished Cremonese 4-1 to pick up another dominant away win.
It was Napoli’s 10th win in 12 matches. Giovanni Simeone, who scored the sixth goal at Ajax, found the net once again. Matteo Politano, Hirving Lozano, and Mathías Olivera made up the rest of the scoreline for the away side.
Other than Atalanta, Napoli are the only side in Serie A yet to taste defeat this season.
A 22-goal haul by their attackers has been instrumental to their rise to the Serie A top spot.
Napoli forwards have thrived in Europe as well, having hit the target 13 times in three outings. So, Napoli fans can hope to see their team pass the Champions League Round-of-16 stage for the first time in their history.
However, they still need three more points to book their RO16 tickets.
The horrific experience of their 6-1 thrashing to Napoli last week will haunt Ajax for a long time, but de Godenzonen must start anew on Wednesday night to bring something back from their trip to Naples.
The five-time European champions started their Champions League campaign with a remarkable 4-0 victory at home before suffering a narrow 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.
The 6-1 loss to Napoli have left them third in the group with three points under their belt.
If Liverpool manages to beat Rangers at home and Ajax lose again, the Reds will go six points clear of the Eredivisie giants. That scenario will all but confirm Ajax’s elimination from the Champions League group stages.
Ajax do have some inspiration to take from their weekend Eredivisie performance ahead of their crunch clash with Napoli.
Alfred Schreuder’s men picked up a 4-2 win at Volendam to stay only one point away from table toppers AZ Alkmaar.
The Ajax camp will not be thrilled to know that Napoli will get back their prolific striker Victor Osimhen from injury on Wednesday night.
One of Giacomo Raspadori and Giovanni Simeone might have to make way for the Nigeria international.
Amir Rrahmani will take a late fitness test to know whether or not he will be ready to feature in the Napoli backline. Leo Ostigard will be ready to deputise in his absence.
Skipper Dušan Tadić will not be travelling with the Ajax squad as he will serve suspension for getting sent off in the reverse fixture. Lucas Ocampos or Francisco Conceição might replace the Croatian in the starting XI.
Ajax will be desperate for a win since their Champions League survival is on the line.
While the scoreline is likely to be more competitive than their last encounter, we don’t see Ajax stopping the unbeaten run of Spaletti’s high flying Napoli.
It could be a 2-1 win for Napoli.
WATCH: Cristiano Ronaldo performs obscene gestures as fans chant Lionel Messi’s name
During the Saudi Pro League game between Al Shabab and Al Nassr, Nassr skipper Cristiano Ronaldo was seen making obscene gestures towards rival fans. The Shabab fans were chanting Ronaldo’s biggest rival Lionel Messi’s name. Not for the first time though, some Saudi football fans do prefer Messi over the Portuguese player. Meanwhile, during the game on Sunday, the Portugal international crossed all the limits as he made some obscene gestures.
Watch the video here
Al-Shabab fans chanting: “Messi, Messi”
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) February 25, 2024
Talking about the game, the Yellow Brigade, Nassr won against Shabab. Ronaldo gave his team as he made the most of the penalty in the 21st minute of the game. However, in the injury time of the first half, Yannick Carrasco scored an equalizer before going into the break. In the first minute of the second half, Anderson Talisca gave a lead to Nassr. In the 67th minute, Carlos scored the equalizer for Shabab, and the game looked like ending in a tie before Talisca scored the match-winning goal in the 86th minute.
Meanwhile, the former Real Madrid player is set to face disciplinary action. As per the Saudi writer and television host, the disciplinary committee might take action.
“The disciplinary committee is facing the biggest test. We will wait and see. Everything has its limits, no matter how famous you are. This is how the major leagues are” Waleed Al Farraj, a prominent Saudi writer and television host, said on X.
Cristiano Ronaldo faced disciplinary action during his stint with Manchester United
A few months before the FIFA World Cup 2022, he threw a fan’s phone when he was part of the English club, Manchester United. He was banned for a few games which meant that he missed a few games for his current club, Nassr. However, the ban didn’t apply in the World Cup as he was available for selection during the tournament, in which his team lost the Quarterfinal to Morrocco.
Virgil Van Dijk’s late strike in extra time helps Liverpool beat Chelsea in Carabao Cup final
Liverpool emerged victorious in the Carabao Cup final in 2024. In a thrilling game which was full of twists and turns, Liverpool managed to beat Chelsea to clinch the cup. Jurgen Klopp’s men were awarded with the winner’s medal as they edged out Chelsea in a low-scoring thriller that went to extra time. The defence of both sides was good to watch.
The match had many edge-of-the-seat moments. In the first half, Liverpool attempted a lot of shots over Chelsea. While some were out of target, some were in the target, but stopped by the goalkeeper. Cody Gakpo was unlucky to find the ball hit the goalpost. The strike of the youngster went in vain as the first half did not witness any goal.
Liverpool’s skipper was brilliant in the game. He martialed his troops well and got the coordination going for a long time. He in fact nearly had a goal in the first half, only to be ruled out by the VAR, which was highly controversial. There is a debate for the legitimacy of the goal which was not given despite the help of the technology. Liverpool did not get carried away with the moment.
Captain brilliant Virgil Van Dijk steps up in crunch moments
Klopp deployed younger players as substitutes in the 2nd half. It helped Liverpool a lot as they were able to not just put pressure on Chelsea but also create a lot of chances. While none of them were converted to goals in the second half, they ensured that Chelsea’s players were in check. At one stage, the absence of Mohammad Salah in the middle was felt.
The match went to the extra time, where things got a bit closer. Chelsea attempted to score goals but ended up giving more advantage to Liverpool. The younger legs marked well and provided good assists to the forwards. The moment came in the 118th minute of the game, when Van Dijk netted the goal and helped Liverpool to win the prestigious title.
Virat Kohli picks his ‘Sporting GOAT’
Virat Kohli was asked to pick his ‘Sporting GOAT’ in a recent interview. The star cricketer was interviewed by Team Blue Rising who asked him to name the greatest sportsperson of all time. “Who is your Sporting GOAT?” asked the host to the star batter. Kohli did not hesitate to take the name of one of the greatest Football players as his pick for the question.
The Indian batter claimed Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest Football player of all time. “For me, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Virat in the interview. It came as no surprise to the fans, as Virat has always been a huge admirer of the star Footballer. Even in the past, the 35-year-old has expressed his admiration for the star player from Portugal.
In many instances, the Indian batter has claimed Ronaldo to be his favourite player. Ronaldo has been one of the best players the sport has ever seen. Many claim him to be arguably the greatest Sportsperson of all time. Virat has joined the list of those to claim him to be the greatest athlete in the sports world. Ronaldo has some records to back his claim for the title.
Legacy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Virat Kohli
The Portuguese Footballer has the greatest number of goals for an international team. He also has the greatest number of international caps for a player. The star player is the only player to win four major cups with two different clubs. He did it with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Cristiano has the second most number of Ballon d’Or titles (Five) after Lionel Messi.
Virat, on the other hand, is a great cricketer. He has the greatest number of hundreds for a batter in ODIs. Virat has the greatest number of hundreds in ODIs while chasing. He is also the highest run scorer for India in T20Is. Kohli has the most runs for a batter in the IPL. He has the greatest number of POTT awards for a player in the T20 WC and the ODI WC.
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