By Joe Ellis

26th Oct, 2022 | 12:10pm

Napoli to rest star players v Rangers including Victor Osimhen - Journalist

Napoli are due to rest some of their best players for the visit of Rangers to Italy in the Champions League, according to journalist Ciro Venerato.

The Azzurri currently top the group ahead of Liverpool and have scored more goals than any other team in the group stage of the competition which has given them license to rest players.

Khvicha Kvaratshkelia and Victor Osimhen are both thought not to be in the starting lineup for Luciano Spaletti which would see Giovanni Simeone lead the line.

“I have my sources and I’ll tell you which team the Tuscan coach will field on the fifth day of the most important continental club competition. Alex Meret will be confirmed in goal,” Venerato said, as quoted by Area Napoli.

“In defence, on the outside, Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Mario Rui will act respectively on the right and left. Ostigard will certainly play in the centre and one between Kim and Juan Jesus with the Korean favourite.

“In midfield, there will be space for Gianluca Gaetano with Ndombele and Elmas, Anguissa will go to the bench. In attack in the centre Giovanni Simeone, on the left Giacomo Raspadori, on the right finally Matteo Politano.”

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Best chance

Giovanni van Bronckhorst may have been worrying at the prospect of facing Kvaratshkelia and Osimhen on their home turf where they tore Liverpool to pieces on matchday one.

He will be at least slightly less concerned if Venerato is correct in what he claims to know but it is still a star-studded Napoli squad that should be beating a side like Rangers, especially at home.

They cruised past the Light Blues at Ibrox but if they are to take things easy in what they see as their easiest group game, then it might open the door of complacency for the Bears.

Their passage through to the knockout rounds has already been secured, albeit not as group winners, so there could be some players prepared to ease off the throttle somewhat.

Rangers, therefore, have to take advantage early on and start at a lightning-quick pace to try and get themselves ahead of the game just in case the real stars of the show do come off the bench.

In other Rangers news, Club 1872 have extended an invitation to Ibrox chairman Douglas Park for discussions but he has not shown any intent on accepting.