AC Milan will be hoping to extend their stay at the top of the Serie A table when they host third-placed Napoli on Sunday (7:45pm).
Recently regarded as one of Italy’s sleeping giants, Milan have slowly improved under Stefano Pioli, finally bursting into life in 2020/21. The Rossoneri are one of three sides left unbeaten in Serie A, alongside Sassuolo and Juventus, but have had the better campaign so far.
Pioli’s men have dropped just four points from their opening seven games, winning five and drawing two, a run which included a victory over Inter Milan in the Derby della Madonnina. But they face tough opposition this weekend, with Napoli just three points behind them.
With former Milan midfielder and manager Gennaro Gattuso at the helm, Napoli have also won five of their opening seven games, losing the other two, albeit one came via a forfeit. And they have a good recent record against Milan, unbeaten in the last 11 games in Serie A, winning six with five draws.
Where to watch Napoli vs AC Milan on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 2
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream Napoli vs AC Milan:
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Napoli & AC Milan’s previous line-ups:
- Napoli (vs Bologna): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Hysaj*; Fabian, Bakayoko; Lozano, Mertens, Insigne; Osimhen*.
- AC Milan (vs Verona): Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Leao*; Ibrahimovic.
Napoli will be without two of their regular starters this week, Elseid Hysaj and Victor Osimhen both absent. David Ospina had been a doubt with injury, but the goalkeeper could still be in contention to feature.
Rafael Leao is the only absentee for AC Milan, with the Portuguese forward picking up an injury while on international duty and ruled out for at least two weeks.
Players to watch:
Napoli: With Victor Osimhen out, the rest of Napoli’s attack will have to step up to replace his threat in front of goal and Hirving Lozano is among those more than capable of doing so. The Mexican has found his feet in Napoli following the departure of Jose Callejon, enjoying an extended run in the side, and it is to the benefit of his club. In his first season at Napoli, Lozano scored four goals and recorded one assist in 26 Serie A appearances, managing just 1,019 minutes on the pitch. This season, he has already equalled his goals and assists tally after six games, all of which have come from the start, and it won’t take long for him to better his record. The question will be, whether he can step up to the big occasion and bring Milan’s unbeaten start to an end.
AC Milan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 39 but he is very much running Serie A right now. Having rejoined AC Milan in January, initially on a short-term deal, the Swede has thrown back the years and is playing some of his best football, currently Serie A’s top scorer with eight goals. Ibrahimovic has scored in each of first five games this season, having missed two matches, and is just one away from equalling history. In the three points per win era, only three players have scored in their first six appearances in a single Serie A season, with those being Gabriel Batistuta in 1994/95, Christian Vieri in 2002/03 and Krzysztof Piatek in 2018/19. It would be very Ibrahimovic to join this list and then move clear.
Scoreline prediction: Napoli 2-2 AC Milan
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Napoli: LWWLW
- AC Milan: WWDWD
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