Milan will be searching for the fourth successive home victory when they welcome Serie A leaders Napoli to San Siro and this does seem as a perfect opportunity for the Rossoneri to close the gap behind the leading pack. Meanwhile, the Azzurri are brimming with confidence after defeating last year’s finalists Borussia Dortmund in their opening Champions League game and no doubt they will fancy their chances of winning in Milan as well.
While this is hardly the first time Max Allegri has to cope with a severe injury crisis since arriving at San Siro, the latest of these has come at a very bad time. Numerous injuries to the playing squad have disrupted team’s preparations for the new season and they are the reason why the Rossoneri have yet to hit the ground running. Milan continue to struggle on the road, where they are winless this season, and the mere fact they needed a huge help from the referees to avoid the second successive defeat on the travels is a cause for concern. Even if Max Allegri’s side have been far from impressive in their home games as well, the good news is they have won all three games at San Siro, which can give the players confidence ahead of the clash with red-hot Napoli. It is perfectly clear that Milan’s leaky defence won’t be able to stop free-scoring Azzurri from registering at least one goal, so much will depend on the hosts’ performance up front. The arrival of Alessandro Matri could be just the thing they need to improve their results amidst the injury crisis as Mario Balotelli finally has someone to help him when things get tough.
M’Baye Niang, Ignazio Abate and Andrea Poli has recovered from their respective injuries, but Bonera, Gabriel, Pazzini, De Sciglio, Silvestre, El Shaarawy, Kaka and Montolivo remain sidelined.
Napoli already leading the title chase
Napoli have been on a major uptrend over the last couple of years and it appears they are finally ready to mount a serious title challenge in Serie A as well as reach the final stages of the Champions League. The club chiefs have made the right decision in selling Edinson Cavani as that allowed them to seriously reinforce every area of the squad, with the big strength in depth likely to prove a huge asset this season. And while many were doubting Rafael Benitez could adapt to the team that are used to playing attack-minded football, the reality is the Spaniard has done a brilliant job in rebuilding the squad over the summer. As a result, Napoli were able to hit the ground running early on, recording comfortable victories over Bologna, Chievo and Atalanta before winning their first high-profile match of the season thanks to an impressive all-round performance against Borussia Dortmund. Given that the Azzurri are playing with a lot of confidence and notching goals for fun at the moment, they should be able to play their part in turning the Milan game into a cracking encounter.
With no fresh injury worries to report, Rafael Benitez could field the same side that started the Borussia Dortmund game in midweek.
Following a slow start to the league campaign, AC Milan have no choice but to go for a win against Napoli, with the hosts heavily relying on Mario Balotelli and Alessandro Matri. The Azzurri, on the other hand, have already reached top form and they look they can even continue their winning streak at San Siro.
Top pick: Over 2.5 goals 1.95 (19/20) @ bet365
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score 1.75 (3/4) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Napoli Draw no bet 1.95 (19/20) @ William Hill
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