Napoli Boss Luciano Spalletti Hails Milan Ahead of Sunday Derby

Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti has heaped praise on Milan ahead of Sunday’s mouth-watering Serie A showdown at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. The Partenopei and the Rossoneri will lock horns in southern Italy in a Serie A top-table six-point tomorrow night.

Sunday’s clash in Naples could be a season-defining fixture for both sides as they look to dethrone Inter this season. Simone Inzaghi’s men swept dead-last Salernitana aside with an overwhelming 5-0 victory on Friday night to return to the league summit, leaving second-placed Napoli a point behind. 

However, Spalletti’s men could claw their way back to the top of the standings with a win over third-placed Milan. The sides are level on points ahead of the kick-off, with everything to play for on Sunday. Stefano Pioli’s men will have revenge on their minds after they felt hard done by in a controversial 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture in mid-December.

Elif Elmas’ fifth-minute winner at the San Siro gives Napoli an opportunity to complete their first Serie A double over Milan and potentially hand a detrimental blow to their Scudetto hopes. But the Rossoneri have enjoyed a renaissance under Pioli, and Spalletti recognises that. 

We have built strength in the difficulties of the team, then on other situations, I find nothing else and I congratulate Milan for Pioli’s career over the years. He has built a great team with Massara whom I know well. I have spoken to Maldini several times, they are a strong club,” he said in the pre-match conference as relayed by MilanNews.

Spalletti also insists that Napoli will take the field in a good mood following their dramatic 2-1 win away to Lazio last time out.

My feelings are good, I don’t know those of others, but they can’t be more motivated than us. Together with the team we are building a good team, all together, I also include the fans that characterises us in being Neapolitans.”