Soccer-Ajax coach wary of attacking intent from Italian opponents

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Ajax Training - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - September 12, 2022 Ajax coach Alfred Schreuder during training Action Images via Reuters/Molly Darlington

(Reuters) - Ajax Amsterdam coach Alfred Schreuder is anticipating an attacking approach from Serie A leaders Napoli and wary of what they might have in store for his side in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Napoli bring a 100% record in Group A to the clash at the Amsterdam Arena with Schreuder expecting the visitors to look to take the game to their hosts.

"There are now a number of teams in Italy that are playing attacking and open football. It is no longer the old-fashioned catenaccio," Schreuder told a news conference on the eve of the match.

"AC Milan play good football; Napoli play fantastic stuff and Inter have been good for years. Liverpool is the big favourite in our group in terms of status, but Napoli comes close in terms of football. They have also brought in fantastic players this summer who are doing well."

Ajax sit three points behind Napoli, who have beaten both Liverpool and Rangers in their opening group games.

"Napoli play very well together as a team. There is a lot of combination play and they seek to put on a lot of pressure. They also take a lot of risks. We have to be good on the ball. They do have downsides, but there aren't many. It is not for nothing that they are unbeaten," added the Ajax coach.

"I have a lot of confidence in my players, although I'm wary of the opponent. Napoli could suit us very well, though. It might be a match of two teams that play offensively."

Ajax began their campaign with a comfortable 4-0 home win over Rangers but lost one week later at Liverpool.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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