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Milan v Napoli Preview

If the above is the goal, three points here is a must.

Claudio Villa

During my formative years, and before the Old Lady started buying titles, the scudetto was decided between Maradona's Napoli and Sacchi's Milan. This was difficult considering my Neapolitan heritage and my love for Milan. My father and I were outliers, but at the end of the day we continue to have the last laugh!

Now it is 2013, and Milan and Napoli battle for second. A win doesn't leap frog Napoli, but puts Milan within one point. A loss however is catastrophic and coupled with a Fiorentina win could mean not only losing out on second place but fighting tooth and nail for third. The sad part is, Milan always seems to do everything the hard way, but the focus is all on Sunday's match against Napoli. You can't expect anything from anyone if you can't take care of your business, and the business at hand is three points.

Balotelli will be suspended, but part of me is OK with this if only to see Pazzo and El Sharaawy rekindle some of the recent magic. The more pressing concern is who plays RW, and midfield to cope with Napoli's width? Is it Boateng, whose recents complaints about being used in different roles books his ticked out of Milan in my mind. Whatever happened to just being happy to be on the pitch, he didn't seem to have issues when we won the Title. Time Boateng remembers where he came from and what he really is, not what he thinks he is. We need to soldiers now, not primadonnas if second place is going to be a reality.

If I were Max, I would sit his ass, but that's just me! So here is my lineup, with that in mind...

Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, DeSciglio; Muntari, Monty, Flamini; Niang, Pazzo, ElS

In my mind the Constant experiment is over, DeSciglio should own the LB spot, period. Ambro is hurt so Flamini or Muntari continues with Boateng not warranting a start and after Noce's performances last week not earning one! If you build up the midfield like this you can afford a more attacking front three and Pazzo will retain possession better than Balotelli who takes more chances. A clean sheet is imperative here, but this is not easy with the specter of Edison Cavani! The defense will have it's hands full, but if you can cope with the width you can shut of the supply!

Milan has had many a crucial and exciting match against Napoli in recent years this one should be no different!