Milan-Napoli Preview: Part A

As luck would have it, our opponents on Saturday in Serie A are also our opponents in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals on Tuesday. Even luckier, our former beloved Carletto is the manager. To add insult to injury, they currently sit in second place on the table, a full 13 points ahead of us, and have won their last three matches in a row. Don’t, worry, though, if things go as badly as they seem like they will on paper, we’ll have another chance to be destroyed by Ancelotti and his boys on Tuesday. This is only Part A.

Sweet if we win, painful if we lose

Napoli’s most recent victims were Lazio, who lost 2-1 to Ancelotti’s team while playing the last 20 minutes on ten men. For that match on Sunday, Ancelotti lined up: Meret; Malcuit, Albiol, Maksimovic, Mario Rui; Callejon, Ruiz, Diawara, Zielinski; Mertens, and Milik. It looks as though Chiriches is back in training, but doubtful to be available yet, while Hamsik is still out with his thigh injury. Rog has also picked up a knock, and will not face Milan. Allan was dropped from the squad due to transfer rumors, so will not play vs. Milan. Ancelotti will, however, have Koulibaly and Insigne back for this match, so if your knees aren’t shaking, perhaps they should be.

Milan lost Higuain to Chelsea, but gained Piatek from Genoa. To put it into perspective, Higuain and Cutrone combined have scored 17 goals for Milan in Serie A and the Europa League this season. Piatek scored 19 goals himself for Genoa in Serie A and the Coppa Italia, two more than the other two combined. While it remains to be seen if Gattuso’s stubborn and constipated tactics in attack will stifle the young Polish player, the numbers are exciting.

Milan is now carrying a loaded pistol

In addition to Bonaventura, Caldara, and Biglia, who are all out to long-term injury, Zapata joins them with a muscle injury and will be out at least two weeks, likely more. And Reina has a small knock, too (or maybe he doesn't want to risk facing his old side?) However, Gattuso is getting back his trio of players from suspension: Romagnoli, Kessie, and Caldara. Musacchio should obviously start alongside Romagnoli at the back, but Calabria should be rightfully challenged by Conti, who put in almost 80 minutes on Monday and got an assist. Kessie should also start, he is unique in his abilities and qualities.

That is what winning looked like... before we lost

Considering that the reverse fixture was our first match of the season, and even Ancelotti admitted we were disadvantaged by the schedule changes, it was probably justifiable to lose that one, even if it stung to be up first and then lose. But now our only real excuse is that we are not as good as Napoli, so we will just suck if we lose. Still, given the disparity of pretty much everything, on paper, it would be hard to do anything else. Even worse, knowing that this is only Part A.

This post inspired by the music of Foreigner’s “Double Vision”

Serie A Week 21
Milan vs. Napoli
Saturday, January 26 • 20:30 CET (2:30pm EST)
This match will be shown LIVE on RAI Italia in the U.S.
The match can also be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Milan-Napoli Preview: Part A Milan-Napoli Preview: Part A Reviewed by Elaine on 11:47 AM Rating: 5
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