A battle of two Italian giants takes centre stage this weekend in Serie A as AC Milan face Napoli. There is plenty of intriguing storylines attached to this game. Milan are second in Serie A and need a win as Juventus are hot on their tails at third. A victory and an Inter Milan defeat also keeps Milan alive in the Scudetto race.
Napoli, on the other hand, is sixth. They are five points behind Atalanta in fourth, but have two games in hand. Gennaro Gattuso is also their manager, who happens to be Milan’s former manager, as well as one of the Rossoneri‘s all-time great players.
AC Milan Looking to Regain Pace in Race for Serie A Title Against Napoli
Even Form Heading Into the Game
Milan and Napoli both have 10 points from their last six league matches, and that is not ideal for either side. Milan recently had solid wins versus Hellas Verona and Roma, but they were below par in their other games. A draw versus Udinese wasn’t ideal, but a loss to Spezia and a heavy defeat to Inter made the team lose major ground in the hunt for the Scudetto.
The Rossoneri, however, are coming off an uplifting draw versus Manchester United. They were severely shorthanded in the Europa League fixture but managed a draw due to a late goal from Simon Kjaer. Their heads are held up high after that performance.
Napoli beat Juventus a month ago, and have recent wins versus Bologna and Benevento. They bowed out of the Europa League at the hands of Getafe and allowed Atalanta to put four goals past them.
Make no mistake, Napoli are a very dangerous team. Their issue is their inconsistency. They’ll look like world-beaters in one match, then look no better than mid-table the next. Expect Gattuso to up the ante versus his former side, however.
Theo Hernandez is expected to return and start for Milan after missing the United clash. This comes in good time as Davide Calabria suffered an injury, so expect Diogo Dalot to start in his place.
Sandro Tonali is back to fitness, so he’ll start in the midfield over Soualiho Meite. Hakan Calhanoglu returned to training, but he’ll likely come off the bench. Rade Krunic will remain the starter in his place. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ismael Bennacer are expected to miss yet another major match.
Napoli will be near full-strength. Attacking duo Hirving Lozano and Andrea Petagna are back in training and expecting to play.
Faouzi Ghoulam recently suffered a torn-ACL, so expect Mario Rui to start in his place.
Match Prediction: AC Milan 2-1 Napoli
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