Preview: Milan vs Napoli – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

Sunday’s Serie A program signs off with a blockbuster as bitter rivals Milan and Napoli go head-to-head at the San Siro. In other circumstances, this fixture would’ve had significant implications for the Scudetto race, yet both sides are well off the top-two pace.

Luka Jovic scored off the bench to complete another epic Milan comeback against Frosinone last weekend. Stefano Pioli’s men were 2-1 down heading into the final quarter of a pulsating game, but Matteo Gabbia and Jovic inspired Rossoneri to a much-needed 3-2 victory at Benito Stirpe.

That was a perfect response to a gut-wrenching 2-2 draw against Bologna in their last home league outing. More importantly, that was Milan’s eighth consecutive Serie A game without a loss (W6, D2). That sequence has consolidated their top-four quest, steering them 11 points clear of fifth-placed Roma.

However, after Daniele De Rossi suffered his first defeat in charge of Giallorossi at the hands of Inter, Milan’s faint Scudetto hopes seem dead in the water. If Pioli’s charges are chanceless, then reigning champions Napoli have perhaps performed the worst defending campaign in recent Serie A history.

Napoli saw a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel last week. Winter arrival Cyril Ngonge initiated Partenopei’s comeback against his former side, Hellas Verona, with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia capping off a 2-1 victory with a thunderous strike from the edge of the box. That was Napoli’s third unbeaten league match on the trot (W2, D1).

Walter Mazzarri’s troops could seize momentum to apply further pressure on fourth-placed Atalanta, with only four points separating the sides ahead of Sunday’s schedule. Given Milan’s blistering Serie A form, avoiding defeat for a ninth successive top-flight visit to the San Siro is far from a foregone conclusion (W5, D3).

Match Preview


It’s been almost nine years since Milan last defeated Napoli in Serie A action on home turf. Keen to turn those fortunes around, Pioli’s side can draw confidence from winning five home league games on the spin before the abovementioned stalemate against Bologna, not to mention scoring precisely three goals on three occasions.

Three could be the magic number for Milan, especially after they spurned a 2-0 halftime lead in a frustrating 2-2 draw in October’s reverse fixture. After failing to register back-to-back league wins against Napoli, Rossoneri would have to settle for arresting a long-standing winless run in this match-up.

Since this could be Pioli’s last game against Napoli as a Milan manager, the hosts should be motivated to pour more misery on the underperforming Scudetto holders.


Despite their mini-revival in Serie A, Napoli’s travel sickness casts significant doubt on their quest to nail down another victory at the San Siro. Before failing to attempt a shot on target in a scoreless draw against Lazio on their last Serie A road trip, they had lost three straight league matches on the road ‘to nil.’

With standout striker Victor Osimhen unavailable due to international duties, the risk of extending their wasteful away form is genuine. Indeed, you’d need to search back to October for the last time Napoli got on the scoresheet outside the Diego Maradona Stadium in Serie A. 

If it’s any consolation, they’ve held Milan at bay on five of their last eight league visits to the San Siro. That suggests one goal could be sufficient. But whether they’re capable of grabbing one remains to be seen.

Team News

Milan can’t call upon long-term absentees Fikayo Tomori, Malick Thiaw, Pierre Kalulu, and Tommaso Pobega. Samuel Chukwueze is still at the Africa Cup of Nations with finalists Nigeria, while Tijjani Reijdners is not in contention for the matchday squad due to accumulated yellow cards.

On the other hand, Osimhen’s absence is not the only problem for Napoli. Alex Meret, Mathias Olivera, and Mario Rui are unavailable, with Piotr Zielinski unlikely to start amidst minor fitness problems. Mazzarri may need to revert his formation to 3-4-3 as his current squad lacks strength in depth.

Milan vs Napoli Potential Lineups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Matteo Gabbia, Theo Hernandez; Ismael Bennacer, Yacine Adli; Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud.3-

Napoli (3-4-3): Pierluigi Gollini; Leo Ostigard, Amir Rrahmani, Juan Jesus; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka, Pasquale Mazzocchi; Matteo Politano, Giovanni Simeone, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia.

Milan vs Napoli Prediction 

While this game could go either way, we expect Milan to maintain their formidable home form and take three points.

Prediction: Milan Win 

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