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Key Battles and Prediction: Napoli vs AC Milan

Milan are missing their finishing in attack but need to make a statement against the defending champions of the league#.

AC Milan v SS Lazio - Serie A TIM Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/AC Milan via Getty Images

AC Milan travel to face Napoli on the road as the side reels from back-to-back losses. Milan are dropping off after being at the top of the table and need a big result to turn this around tonight. The side have not scored a single goal in their previous two games.

Here are some key battles to look out for:

Key Battles

Right back vs Left winger

Giovanni di Lorenzo vs Rafael Leao

Di Lorenzo against Leao is a battle that has gone both ways over the past two years. The Napoli captain often puts in a great shift against Milan and Leao at least last year obliterated him in the 4-0 win in Naples. Leao is dominant with his dribbling but has been abysmal with his finishing this season. The game tonight is a big opportunity for him to bounce back against a side where he usually performs well and a right back he knows very well. Moreover, Leao should be aiming to engage Di Lorenzo and Rrahmani to open up one-on-one situations for Giroud and Pulisic in the middle.

Manager vs Manager

Stefano Pioli vs Rudi Garcia

The return of Rudi Garcia to Serie A is a big opportunity for Stefano Pioli to best a manager who has been a challenge for him in the past. Pioli and Garcia have met 4 times in the past with Garcia winning 3 times and there being 1 draw. Garcia managed Roma at the time while Pioli was at Bologna and Lazio. Pioli is in a delicate moment as the Rossoneri faithful will not be happy that the side have scored just 1 goal in the previous 4 matches and won just 1 game in that time. Pioli’s tactics and substitutions have been off making the side predictable and any time that sits back is pretty much guaranteed chances to hit us on the counter. He needs to make an impression in this game and show the league that we are in it to win it.

Right back vs Left winger

Davide Calabria vs Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Milan need a leader right now and we know Captain Calabria can turn up in the tough moments. He has been out with injury but now that he is back, he needs to rally the troops and get the firing in front of goal. Calabria will be facing an in-form Kvaratskhelia - who is Napoli’s biggest threat - and will need to keep him quiet and locked out the game. On the other hand, Calabria needs to make runs up the field and deliver some crosses as the service has been lacking for Giroud. Calabria has a wicked shot on him and needs to make some deep runs and try his luck as the attack struggles.


Leao Winner

Pioli Winner

Calabria Winner