AC Milan will host Napoli at San Siro on Sunday, looking to continue their impressive run of form and close in on the league leaders.
AC Milan are currently unbeaten in their last six league matches, and they will be full of confidence heading into the game against the struggling Napoli.
Meanwhile, the defending champions are 7th in the league table and they have had a disappointing season by their standards. Napoli have picked up two wins and a draw from the last three league matches and they will look to build on their recent form with a morale-boosting win away to Milan.
That said, they have a poor record against AC Milan in recent seasons and it remains to be seen whether they can make amends. On current form, AC Milan will be the favourites to pick up all three points and it remains to be seen whether they can come out on top in the end.
Team news and tactics
The home team have a number of injury problem heading into this game. Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori are currently in the treatment room. Malick Thiaw has resumed training, but he is lacking in match fitness. Meanwhile, Tijjani Reijnders is suspended, while Tommaso Pobega is injured.
AC Milan are likely to shape up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Mike Maignan in goal. Davide Calabria and Theo Hernandez will start as the full-backs. They will look to keep things compact at the back and help out in the attack. Simon Kjaer will start at the heart of the defence alongside Matteo Gabbia.
In the midfield pivot, Yacine Adli will start alongside Ismael Bennacer. The two players will look to control the tempo of the game and break up opposition attacks. Ruben Loftus-cheek will be deployed in the attacking midfield role, and he will look to add creativity and to drive to the side.
Christian Pulisic and Rafael Leao will start in the wide areas, and they will look to create goal scoring opportunities for their team mates and look to add to their goal scoring tally. Olivier Giroud will lead the line for AC Milan against Napoli.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez; Bennacer, Adli; Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Leao; Giroud
The away side are expected to have Piotr Zielinski back in action after he returned from a muscle strain. However, Mario Rui is suspended. Napoli will shape up in a 3-4-3 formation, with Pierluigi Gollini in goal.
In the back three, Leo Ostigard will start alongside Amir Rrahmani and Juan Jesus. Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Pasquale Mazzocchi will start as the wing-backs. They will look to protect the central defenders and help out during counter attacks.
In the midfield, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa will start alongside Stanislav Lobotka. They will look to keep things compact in the middle of the park. Giovanni Simeone will lead the line for Napoli here in the absence of Victor Osimhen. Matteo Politano will start on the right, with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia on the left.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Gollini; Ostigard, Rrahmani, Jesus; Di Lorenzo, Anguissa, Lobotka, Mazzocchi; Politano, Simeone, Kvaratskhelia
- AC Milan have scored at least two goals in nine of their last ten league matches.
- AC Milan are unbeaten in five of their last six meetings against Napoli.
- AC Milan are unbeaten in the last six league matches.
- Napoli have picked up just two wins from the last six league matches.
- 15 goals have been scored in the last six meetings between these two teams.
Player to Watch
The 37-year-old has been in phenomenal form this season, scoring 11 goals and picking up 8 assists in Serie A. He will look to hold up the ball and bring others into the play. The French international will look to add to his goal scoring tally as well. Napoli could struggle to deal with his physicality and aerial prowess here.
AC Milan 2-1 Napoli
The home team are in impressive form, and they have the confidence and momentum with them. Although Napoli have shown an upturn in form in their recent outings, this is likely to be an uphill challenge for them especially without key players like Osimhen.
Sunday’s clash should be a close contest, but Napoli will fall short in the end. A narrow win for the home team is on the cards. The Hard Tackle predicts Stefano Pioli and his charges to clinch a 2-1 win at San Siro this weekend.