This Wednesday, seven-time European champions AC Milan will host first-time quarter-finalists Napoli at San Siro in a meeting of Calcio heavyweights.
Milan’s defense of their Scudetto has been challenging, as their opponents on Wednesday, Napoli, have pulled ahead at the top of the Serie A table.
However, Milan’s achievement of making it to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2012 is a bright spot in an otherwise challenging season.
In their recent match against Empoli, Milan played to a goalless draw, securing their place in Italy’s top four. This result contrasted their previous game, where they dominated an uncharacteristically shaky Napoli team, defeating them 4-0 at Stadio Maradona.
Despite this impressive victory, Milan’s current 22-point deficit behind Inter Milan means that securing a place in next season’s Champions League through their league finish is their sole domestic focus. They have already been eliminated from Coppa Italia.
AC Milan UCL Form: L W W W D
Napoli’s impressive run in the Champions League has seen them score an impressive 25 goals, making them the leading scorers in the competition. Their average of 3.1 goals per game is the fifth-best ever in a single campaign.
Not only have they been dominant in attack, but they have also been solid defensively, as evidenced by their 5-0 aggregate win against Eintracht Frankfurt in the round of 16.
The team’s form in the league has been equally impressive, with a series of stunning victories leading them closer to their first Scudetto in over 30 years.
They are currently preparing for what could be a historic title celebration in the city of Naples. However, they focus on achieving more success in the Champions League and reaching the final in Istanbul.
Napoli UCL Form: W W L W W
Unfortunately, Pierre Kalulu cannot participate in the upcoming match due to a calf injury.
On top of the disappointment of losing their top scorer, Victor Osimhen, to a thigh injury, Napoli is facing another setback as his replacement, Giovanni Simeone, is now uncertain for the upcoming match due to a knock sustained during their match against Lecce.
AC Milan’s expected starting lineup:
Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, Hernandez; Tonali, Krunic, Bennacer; Diaz, Leao; Giroud
Napoli’s expected starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Rrahmani, Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Lozano, Raspadori, Kvaratskhelia
Head to Head
Napoli has been successful in recent matches against AC Milan, winning 13 of the last 32 matches between the two teams. In comparison, AC Milan has only managed eight victories during this period.
AC Milan’s home record against Napoli could have been better lately, as they have only won one of their last nine home games against them in all competitions. The solitary victory came during the 2018-19 Coppa Italia quarter-finals.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Wednesday, April 12
Time: 08:00 pm, BST
Venue: San Siro Stadium, Milan
With Napoli’s recent form, having won their last seven Serie A away matches, they might be expected to extend their dominance over AC Milan at San Siro. However, the absence of key players due to injury could hinder their usually prolific attack.
This might allow AC Milan to secure a draw, setting up an intriguing return match in Naples next week.