Milan vs Napoli

February 4, 2012
By: John Hansen

Milan aim to revive their title ambitions after the 2-0 defeat to Lazio in midweek and even though home game against Napoli is never an easy task, the hosts will be happy to face the Azzurri at this stage of the season, as Walter Mazzarri’s side are going through a very rough patch at the moment.

Injury problems continue to mount

Milan have done brilliantly to stay in the title race despite the slow start to the season and incredible injury problems they have faced, even if the Rossoneri lost last two derby games to Inter and Lazio. The derby defeats acted as a real blow to team’s title ambitions, but let’s not forget that that Milan have still won 12 of their last 16 Serie A games, which is a record worthy of title contenders. Team’s four-match winning run in all competitions was ended by the midweek’s defeat to Lazio, but one poor showing cannot change the fact that alongside Juventus, Milan have been the most consistent Serie A side this season. Their extensive experienced and a great strength in depth is proving to be a major asset in the title race, and despite the lengthy injury list, I believe the Rossoneri have what it takes to beat out-of-form Napoli. The two sides were fighting for the title last term, but the Azzurri are a mere shade of that team now, as witnessed by their latest results.

Flamini, Cassano, Yepes, Aquilani, Gattuso, Boateng, Pato, Merkel and Muntari are still unavailable, but new signings Maxi Lopez and Djamel Mesbah are in contention.

What is happening to Napoli?

Napoli chiefs did a great job in the summer transfer window, as they not only kept hold of star trio Hamsik, Lavezzi, Cavani after the impressive last season, but they added more quality to the side with the captures of Inler, Britos and Pandev. The Azzurri were, therefore, expected to mount a serious title challenge this term, but while they showed some promise in the Champions League, Napoli were utterly disappointing in Serie A. It looks as though the pressure of expectations was too much of a burden for the players, as a result of which the team struggled to find any consistency. The Partenopei are currently going through a very rough patch, having taken just three points from last four league games in spite of only playing bottom table sides during that period. Being completely low on confidence and struggling for form, the visitors don’t look capable of getting anything from San Siro.

Paolo Cannavaro is expected to return to the starting line-up after recovering from injury, meaning that Walter Mazzarri will have fully fit squad to choose from.

Verdict

Milan may have lost to Lazio in midweek, but the Rossoneri were thoroughly impressive up until that match and we have no reason to believe that will change now. Napoli are all over the place at the moment and after failing to beat sides like Bologna, Siena, Genoa and Cesena, they cannot be trusted to make life difficult for Milan.

Our prediction: Home win

Odds: 1.73 (8/11)

Bookmaker: William Hill

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