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Coppa Italia Quarterfinals • Milan-Napoli Preview: Part B



If it seems like just the other day you were reading a Milan vs. Napoli preview, you are not losing your mind, you were. Because we just played Napoli on Saturday, but in the league. While that one included an impressive display from Milan which resulted in a draw, taking points from Napoli, this one is a win or go home match. So ready or not, here comes Part B.

They share a common homeland, but on the pitch, they are mortal enemies

As we saw on Saturday, Ancelotti’s team went home with only a point. For their match with us, Carletto lined up Ospina; Malcuit, Albiol, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Callejon, Fabian Ruiz, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens, and Milik. Although both Ancelotti and Fabian were sent off in this match, their assumed suspensions should apply to their next league game, not this one, since the Coppa Italia is a separate competition. (I know it’s confusing, because the Supercoppa is tied to the league, despite featuring the winner of each competition. It’s Italy.) In addition to the players he was missing on Saturday, Chiriches, Rog, and Allan, there is a question of Ospina’s fitness after he took a knock in our match. But I suppose Meret would play anyway, since it’s the Coppa Italia.

There is talk of Biglia returning this weekend, but not in time for this match. Bonaventura and Caldara are obviously still out, and Zapata and Reina are also recent additions to the injury list. Which begs the question, who will play in goal? Typically it would be the second keeper, Reina, but will Gattuso give minutes to The Other Donnarumma in such a big game? Or will he field Plizzari? My guess would be that it will still be Gigio, but Gattuso is not beyond surprises. Like using all three subs before 90 minutes, for example.

Carletto will not be happy letting his former player and team kick them out of the Coppa Italia

The question everyone wants to know the answer to is which of our young guns will Gattuso feature up front? Or will he field two? I know the obvious answer would be Borini, but consider that Cutrone has been a beast, even if he hasn’t had much time to score. And although Piatek just joined us last week, his 20 minute run out was very impressive on Saturday, and he is already acclimated to Italian football, too. Probably the second most asked question would be whether this is the game that Paqueta breaks his duck. I think we are all hoping the answer is yes, it will be.

Ready to get on the scoreboard?

However, Napoli are a formidable foe, and Ancelotti knows how to win tournaments and trophies. If you asked a neutral fan who will be going to the semifinals after this match, most would probably say Napoli, even if it may take more than 90 minutes to determine that. Certainly Milan were happy with the draw on Saturday, whereas Napoli would have been disappointed to not bring home all three points. Which is why the revenge of Carletto has me fearful of this result. But whether we are ready to face a great team again in hopes of getting the upset, the fixture is here. Brace yourselves for Part B.


This post inspired by the music of Queen


Coppa Italia Quarterfinal
Milan vs. Napoli
Tuesday, January 29 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.