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Milan-Napoli Preview: A Chance in Hell

As we pointed out on the most recent podcast, Napoli may be doing better than Milan, but they are inconsistent. Additionally, they had to play a Europa League match yesterday, so they will likely be tired. But our best chance of overcoming them will be our home advantage and our 12th man. If we are the Diavoli, then the San Siro should be hell, and playing at home gives us exactly that: a chance in hell of winning.

Benitez' expression after hearing that Inzaghi would probably start Bonera again

The Napoli side that fought for the Scudetto last year languishes in fifth place at the moment, eleven points behind Juventus, and on the wrong side of surprises Genoa and Sampdoria. Rafa Benitez came under fire early this season with the inconsistent results, but De Laurentiis has shown a lot of patience with him. Their 3-0 Europa League win yesterday vs. Slovan Bratislava and resulting qualification for the next round should give them some confidence. But Milan fans everywhere are hoping it also takes some of the wind out of their sails physically.

In Serie A, Napoli played Empoli last weekend at the San Paolo, a game that saw them go down two goals to the newly promoted side, and then come back for a 2-2 draw to salvage the point. For that game, Benitez lined up Rafael; Henrique, Maggio, Ghoulam, Albiol; Callejon, Jorginho, Mertens, Hamsik, David Lopez; and Duvan Zapata. However Maggio earned a yellow card that will see him suspended for Sunday. They will also be missing Insigne, Michu, and Zuniga to injuries.

Hamsik pitying Milan and trying to give us an advantage by playing like a girl

Milan have Montolivo back from injury finally, and he played 60 minutes last week. But the fitness and return of Muntari, Abate, De Sciglio, and Alex are still in question for this match as of this writing. Worse than injuries, though, is the team morale. Despite being 5 points better at this point than the same point last year, Milan really need another win to boost their confidence right now. And while anything is possible, Napoli still have better momentum and coming into the match.

Milan’s best hope is that the fans will rally and give them that psychological edge. That is if they can behave themselves and not get the club fined for territorial discrimination. On the pitch, Napoli have a squad with more depth and talent, an experienced coach, and the advantage of playing together longer. But despite things being stacked against us, Milan do have a chance in hell of getting a result on Sunday. Let’s just hope we take it.

This post inspired by the music of the Kings of Leon

Milan vs. Napoli
Sunday, December 14 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match will be shown LIVE on RAI and BeIN Sports in the U.S.