Rank 4 AC Milan will host 2nd place Napoli at the San Siro in Serie A 2018/19 21st Day tonight. Playing home is not a guarantee for Milan to win.
Many crossings between Napoli and Milan in the big match of this day of Serie A. Ancelotti returns to "his" San Siro, where he has trained for many years bringing many titles and a Champions League. He will face Rino Gattuso, one of the players he has coached and one of his pupils. The second challenge for them in this season that has already seen in the first leg the Napoli triumph on Milan with two goals from Zielinski and one from Mertens to meet the goals of Calabria and Bonaventura.
A tumultuous week for both teams shaken by this January window of the football market. Milan lost Higuain who disappointed in Milan with mixed performances, few goals and a lot of nervousness. In his place came the young Piatek who comes from an incredible start of the season played with the Genoa shirt where he was able to get to score 13 goals in the Serie A and above all to show everyone his talents: good at kicking with both the feet, excellent insertion times and good even in the headshots.
Napoli was instead shaken by rumors from Paris where it was said that the PSG was ready to buy Allan, a key player in the Azzurri line, with an offer of over 100 million. Offer then never arrived for Fair Play limits and perhaps for some other reason, a negotiation that seems blurred but that left Allan doubtful. In fact, the Brazilian had been proposed a much richer contract, he came to earn about 3 times how much he earns at Napoli and the player seems shaken by this rumor. In fact, Carlo Ancelotti decided to leave him at rest and not convene him against Milan.
Milan is without a win in their last eight matches against Napoli in Serie A. The last time the Rossoneri were able to beat Napoli was 2-0 at the San Siro in December 2014. Since then, Milan was forced to swallow six defeats and could only get a draw twice. In the match, Milan cannot be reinforced by Mattia Caldara, Cristian Zapata, Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura who are injured.
Meanwhile, from the Napoli side, the playmaker and captain Marek Hamsik recovered from injury. He is not expected to be fit enough to play from the early minutes. But that doesn't seem like a big deal. In the last three matches, Napoli was able to win without his captain with great performances by Fabian Ruiz. Today the Fabian - Diawara couple should start from the beginning.
Milan (4-3-3): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Bakayoko, Paqueta; Suso, Cutrone, Calhanoglu. Coach: Gennaro Gattuso.
Napoli (4-4-2): Meret; Malcuit, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam; Callejon, Allan, Zielinski, Fabian Ruiz; Milik, Mertens. Coach: Carlo Ancelotti.
Despite the statistics smile at Naples, this challenge will be anything but easy for Ancelotti's kids. The first factor of difficulty is the field: the San Siro is a stadium that can get almost 80,000 spectators. Another factor is the fact that Milan is a tough team to beat and to which the coach Gattuso seems to have passed his determination especially in big matches. In the match at San Paolo Milan lost 3-2 but fought for most of the match.
I think the key to this match is in midfield where Fabian Ruiz has to confirm himself at very high levels and above all Diawara has to start doing more courageous performances trying more verticalizations. In Naples will not play the gritty Allan but there are two other important recoveries, Insigne and Koulibaly. The Neapolitan is in a ballot with Mertens to start from the holder while Koulibaly will be able to stop the attacks of Cutrone, Piatek and Suso.
A difficult game where any result is possible, the classic game from 1, X or 2. I opt for the over because I expect a game fought but very open.