Glasgow Rangers opened their first Champions League group stage campaign since 2010/11 with what can only be described as a drubbing.
Travelling to his native Netherlands, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side were on the wrong end of a 4-0 scoreline at the hands of Ajax, following an equally comprehensive defeat in last weekend’s Old Firm derby.
The defeat marked the first time that Rangers had shipped four goals in consecutive competitive matches since 1982, when Aberdeen beat them 4-0 and 4-1 in the space of a week.
The old adage from iconic Light Blues manager Walter Smith that you are only ever two defeats away from a crisis at Rangers appears to be ringing true for Van Bronckhorst following the Old Firm debacle and Ajax thrashing.
With Saturday’s match postponed due to the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, as it stands, the Gers’ next match will be against Napoli on Tuesday, although things could change in that regard.
Van Bronckhorst has received a boost ahead of the match, however, with the Azzurri’s star striker Victor Osimhen suffering a muscle injury which could keep him out for the next five weeks.
The last thing the Dutchman needed was to have his shaky defence – which has conceded 16 goals this season already in all competitions – having to face the Nigerian, who has scored twice this term while adding an assist but had to come off just before half-time against Liverpool in midweek due to an injury.
Overall, the 23-year-old has netted 30 times in just 68 appearances for the Serie A club and remains one of the most in-demand strikers on the continent.
Will Rangers defeat Napoli?
Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle United were all linked with a move for the hitman during the summer transfer window, with journalist Niccolo Ceccarini stating that if Napoli received an offer of €100m (£86.8m), then they could consider it.
A move didn’t materialise this year, but if he continues the form that he showed last season (18 goals in 32 appearances), then the Azzurri would certainly be able to command a big fee for the player.
Although the injury news will be a relief to Rangers ahead of Tuesday’s clash, they will still need to improve massively if they are to get a positive result against Napoli, who rather convincingly defeated Liverpool 4-1 in their opening group game.
If it is the Light Blues’ next match, as currently scheduled, then the 47-year-old certainly won’t want to make it three defeats in a row. Osimhen’s absence could help in that regard.