Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti thinks his team will have a tough evening in the Champions League against Ajax on Tuesday. “Trainer Alfred Schreuder is doing a good job this season. Their game is similar to ours. Ajax also plays smooth combination game on the ground and they are also able to switch to a different fighting style,” he said on Monday in the Johan Cruijff Arena.
Spalletti finds it difficult to compare this season’s Ajax with previous years. “Then we didn’t have to play against them. I studied the current Ajax”, said the 63-year-old coach, who is still unbeaten with Napoli this season. The club is the leader in Serie A with 20 points from 8 matches. In the Champions League, Napoli won well against Liverpool (4-1) and Rangers FC (0-3).
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‘We want to win’
Napoli is not going for a draw on Tuesday, Spalletti made clear. “We want to win here too. I think you should start every game with that in mind. Every Champions League game is a kind of gift to be able to play,” said the coach, who is impressed by the Johan Cruijff Arena. “This is historic ground. It’s fantastic to be able to play here.”
Spalletti does not think that 1 of the two teams will start the game as favorite. “We will have to be very good to achieve a result here. Ajax is a team with technically gifted players who play modern football. Ajax also has a bit more experience than we do in the Champions League.”