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AC Milan vs Napoli: Key Battles and Predictions

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A strong response at home is needed from Milan and it could be achieved against our former manager.

Theo Hernandez of AC Milan seen in action during the Serie A... Photo by Fabrizio Carabelli/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AC Milan play Napoli tomorrow night at the San Siro as Stefano Pioli looks to get six out of six points from Gennaro Gattuso this season. Milan are still missing their main attackers and will only just welcome back Hernandez, Calhanoglu and Rebic. Milan have had a number of draws in recent weeks and will look to avoid this and gain all three points to further cement their second place spot.

Key Battles

Left back vs Right winger

Matteo Politano vs Theo Hernandez

Hernandez barreling down that left wing will be a sight for sore eyes but only if he effectively uses his pace to break the lines but then lay off the ball at the right moment. Hernandez made a huge difference in the previous tie against Napoli with a crazy assist. On the other hand, Politano will be raring at the opportunity to exploit any gaps left opened by Hernandez and often likes to take him on regardless.

Central defensive midfielder vs Central defensive midfielder

Franck Kessie vs Fabian Ruiz

Kessie has been a leader for Milan this season and will need to step up in a critical game for the top four race. Kessie will need to keep Fabian Ruiz and Piotr Zielinski in check by breaking up their play and reducing the effectiveness of their passing to isolate Mertens up top. Milan will rely on Kessie to drive the attack from the back by keeping the ball flowing and taking the pressure off the attacking midfielders.

Striker vs Goalkeeper

Rafael Leao vs Alex Meret

Leao has been given a huge opportunity with a lot of pressure but needs to deliver more. He has started the past couple of games but is yet to register a single goal or assist in that period. He needs to make a difference for the side as Milan are running out of options getting bailed out by the midfielders and defenders. Leao has a chance to score against an error prone Meret and this could be a huge confidence boost for him.

Predictions

Politano Winner

Kessie Winner

Leao Winner