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AC Milan vs Napoli: Predictions
For some time it looked as though AC Milan would be ending their long Scudetto drought, leading the Serie A table for a significant part of the season. However, the hopes of a first league title in 10 years have taken a hit in recent weeks, and bitter rivals Inter Milan have taken control.
Stefano Pioli’s have lost two of their past five games in Serie A, winning two and drawing one. While that may not seem too bad on paper, the defeats have been costly. First, a shock defeat to Spezia allowed Inter Milan to overtake AC Milan at the top of the table and a Derby della Madonnina loss against the Nerazzurri saw the gap widen. They have since recovered with two wins and a draw, but AC Milan face an uphill battle.
Meanwhile, Napoli are embroiled in a very tight battle for Serie A’s final Champions League spot. Just three points separate fourth-placed Roma and Napoli in sixth, with Atalanta sandwiched between the two. Gennaro Gattuso’s side do perhaps have the slight advantage, with a game in hand over Roma and Atalanta, though that will come against Juventus in midweek.
Recently knocked out of the Europa League by Granada, Napoli’s full attention has turned to Serie A and they are unbeaten in their past three matches, winning two including a 3-1 win over Bologna last weekend. But they have been somewhat inconsistent in Italy’s top flight and haven’t won back-to-back Serie A games since January, often alternating wins and defeats (with the exception of a draw against Sassuolo).
AC Milan vs Napoli: Match Stats
Basic sequences would see Napoli fail to win against San Siro having won their last game, but there is more to it than that. Each of the past four games Napoli have failed to win have come away from home, with Gattuso’s side seriously struggling on the road, now almost two months without an away victory in Serie A. But AC Milan are also winless in their past two Serie A games at home and, with the Europa League last-16 return leg against Man Utd next week, their eyes could be elsewhere.
In some games you’ll want to make sure you’re watching right from the first whistle to catch all the action, but for this one it wouldn’t hurt if you did miss the first half. No side have conceded fewer Serie A goals in the first half of games this season than AC Milan (nine) and Napoli (10), with most of the action coming after half-time.
29 January 2019 – AC Milan 2-0 Napoli – Coppa Italia
26 January 2019 – AC Milan 0-0 Napoli – Serie A
AC Milan are unbeaten in their past five games against Napoli across all competitions, winning three and drawing twice, having previously suffered a poor run in this fixture. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the star of the previous fixture this season, scoring twice alongside Jens Hauge in Milan’s 3-1 win, with Dries Mertens replying for Napoli.