Napoli vs AC Milan: Three key players to look out for

Napoli will host AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday evening, looking to build on their win over Hellas Verona last weekend.

AC Milan will look to bounce back from their defeat against Juventus last Sunday when they take on Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium on Sunday evening. Both teams are quite evenly matched, and this is likely to be a cracking contest.

AC Milan will hope to close the gap to new league leaders Juventus with victory here, while Napoli will look to pick up a morale-boosting win at home. Neither team has been entirely convincing thus far this term, so they will be eager to ramp up their performance levels.

But as is often the case in the biggest games, some critical performances tend to tip the scales in one team’s favour. So, here at The Hard Tackle, we look at the three key players who could play a crucial role in tonight’s Serie A contest at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

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The Napoli winger was not impressive form at the start of the season. But he has picked up his form after recently ending his scoring drought. The Georgian international now has three goals and three assists in just seven starts in Serie A.

Kvaratskhelia has been in outstanding form for club and country over the last few weeks, contributing to five goals and three assists in his last eight appearances. Napoli will need his pace, movement and trickery in order to unlock Stefano Pioli’s defence on the night.

AC Milan will look to make life difficult for the Napoli attackers with their organisation of the backline, and Kvaratskhelia will be expected to open up spaces for himself and his teammates. In addition, with Victor Osimhen missing the game, Napoli will rely on him to create and score goals on the night, taking the bulk of the burden in a crucial encounter.

Rafael Leao

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The Portuguese international is undoubtedly the most reliable attacker AC Milan have at their disposal. He has been in impressive form thus far this term, scoring three goals and picking up three assists in seven starts in Serie A. Meanwhile, his exploits have attracted the attention of high-profile clubs like Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Apart from his ability to score goals, he is an expert when it comes to fashioning out chances for his teammates. With Olivier Giroud holding up play, AC Milan will need an outlet in the final third, which Leao can provide.

The away side are likely to sit deep and hit Napoli on the break. So, Rafael Leao could be devastating with his pace and flair. The 24-year-old will have to play a key role if Milan are to come away with all three points here.

Piotr Zielinski

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The 29-year-old Polish midfielder will have to play a key role here for the home side. The game could easily be decided in the midfield, as is often the case in the biggest clashes. So, Napoli will rely on Zielinski to add creativity and control in the middle of the park.

The former Udinese midfielder has been a key player for Napoli in the last few years. And his exploits have captured the attention of many well-known outfits. As things stand, Barcelona, Newcastle United, and Liverpool have shown interest in him.

The 29-year-old is exceptional with his ability to execute key passes. In addition to that, he will help Napoli retain possession. Zielinski is also an expert when it comes to set pieces, and he could add a whole new dimension to the Napoli midfield if he is on form. So, his output will hold the key for the Partenopei as they look for a crucial win.

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