AC Milan visits Napoli this Sunday evening in a crucial match with both teams’ Scudetto hopes on the line. With 11 matches left for both clubs, including this upcoming one, the two teams are tied atop of the Serie A table with 57 points from 27 matches. Napoli, however, holds the first-place spot due to their current head-to-head advantage over the Rossoneri.
AC Milan Versus Napoli Preview
Milan hasn’t lost in their last five matches, although they’re not necessarily in the top form. Their last three matches have all been draws. The most recent match, a 0-0 draw with Inter Milan in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals is nothing to hang their heads down on. Before that, however, Milan drew with both Salernitana and Udinese. Both matches were very winnable and could have separated Milan from the pack in the Scudetto race. Milan needs to use this Napoli match to regain their winning form as seen in their recent 4-0 obliteration of Lazio as well as the tactical 1-0 victory over Sampdoria.
Napoli’s form isn’t too different than that of Milan. They won 2-1 in their last match versus Lazio. Before that, however, they fell 2-4 to FC Barcelona in the Europa League knockout stages. The three matches before that were all 1-1 draws to Cagliari, Barcelona, and Inter.
Both teams are desperate for a win to power up their title chances. This match will surely be full of high-energy and great play.
Expected Line-up for AC Milan
Mike Maignan will start once again at the goalkeeper position. He’s been consistent and one of Italy’s top goalkeepers all season long.
The defence will likely see a change. Theo Hernandez will start at left-back while Fikayo Tomori starts at the left centre-back position. The two are Milan’s top defenders. On the right side, however, it will likely be Pierre Kalulu and Alessandro Florenzi. They will be filling in for Alessio Romagnoli and Davide Calabria.
The midfield double pivot is always a tough decision for Milan as the team holds a number of quality players at the position. The starters for this match will likely be Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer, however. Tonali has arguably been Milan’s top player all season long. He was absent for the last match versus Inter due to suspension, so he’ll have fresh legs ready to make a major impact. Bennacer played admirably in the derby, so he most certainly deserves another start. Franck Kessie will likely feature off the bench. As good as he’s been in the past, Kessie hasn’t been in top form this season and his future is under question.
Milan’s attack has been missing a little spice recently, so they must show up in this match. The four players will be Rafael Leao, Brahim Diaz, Alexis Saelemaekers, and Oliver Giroud. Leao’s been strong and the recipient of Milan’s MVP of February award.
Diaz’s play will be crucial as he looks to regain the form he had in the first half of the season. Giroud’s leadership and finishing will be of the utmost importance with Zlatan Ibrahimovic remaining sidelined.