Ac milan hosts Napoli on champions league
AC milan vs Napoli preview
Napoli are currently at the top of the Serie A standings and have been in exceptional form this season. The Neapolitan outfit edged Lecce to a 2-1 victory over the weekend and will be confident ahead of this fixture.
AC Milan, on the other hand, are in fourth place in the league table at the moment and have not been at their best this season. The Rossoneri were held to a 0-0 stalemate by Empoli in their previous game and will need to take it up a notch this week.
On that occasion, the Lombardy giants were eliminated by Pep Guardiola‘s side; they last reached the semis some five years earlier, when they went on to lift European football’s grandest prize for the seventh time.
Ahead of their first leg contest this week, the Rossoneri preserved their place in Italy’s top four with a grim goalless draw at home to Empoli last Friday a far cry from their previous outing, when they summoned up the form and fortitude of last year’s run to the title by beating an unusually shaky Napoli side 4-0 at Stadio Maradona.
Despite landing such a psychological blow, the 22-point chasm currently separating them from the Serie A summit means securing a place in next season’s Champions League via their league finish is now the sole domestic focus for Stefano Pioli’s side, who have already exited the Coppa Italia.
Team News and Injury
After making several changes to his starting XI against Empoli, Stefano Pioli was again made acutely aware of his squad’s lack of strength-in-depth, so Milan’s regulars should all return on Wednesday evening.
Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud will be back from the start, with Simon Kjaer and Rade Krunic likely to join them. Brahim Diaz also returns, in hope of replicating his superb performance against Napoli earlier this month.
Pierre Kalulu is expected to miss out with a calf problem, though, which leaves wily veteran Kjaer to tussle with young Malick Thiaw for the right to partner Fikayo Tomori at the heart of the hosts’ back four.
While Giroud is Milan’s top Champions League scorer this term with four goals, Napoli have four men on the same tally as the French forward: Victor Osimhen, Piotr Zielinski, Giovanni Simeone and Giacomo Raspadori.
However, in addition to the bitter blow of losing Serie A’s Capocanonniere leader Osimhen to a thigh injury, his deputy Simeone is now a doubt after picking up a knock against Lecce.
Unless the Argentina international can recover in time for the trip to Italy’s second city, Raspadori may have to deputise in the visitors’ front three, on the left of which will be ‘Kvaradona’ himself – Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.
Ac Milan vs Napoli Head to Head stats
Napoli have a good recent record against AC Milan and have won 13 of the last 32 matches played between the two teams, as opposed to AC Milan’s eight victories.
AC Milan have lost only one of their nine matches against fellow Italian teams on the European front, while Napoli have secured one victory and one defeat each from such games.
AC Milan have won only one of their last nine home games against Napoli in all competitions, with their only such victory during this period coming in the 2018-19 Coppa Italia quarterfinals.
Napoli have won each of their last three matches away from home against AC Milan in all competitions – their best such run against the Rossoneri.
AC Milan have reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since the 2011-12 season – the previous occasion saw them crash out against Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.
Ac Milan vs Napoli Prediction
Napoli have been in exceptional form this season and will be intent on making their mark in Europe. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has come into his own for the Neapolitans and will look to wreak havoc in the final third.
AC Milan have shown flashes of brilliance this season but will need to work on their consistency this season. Napoli are the better team at the moment and hold a slight upper hand going into this game.