Friday, August 7, 2020

Prediction: Napoli vs AC Milan

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions 11 Jul 2020

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Verdict: Over 2,5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

Napoli (6th, 51 pts) vs AC Milan (7th, 49 pts) will collide Sunday in a thrilling matchup in the Serie A. Both clubs are vying for a 2020-21 UEFA Europa League berth and, given how tight the standings are, this could be a thrilling matchup that could lean each team’s future one way or the other. Kick-off has been scheduled for Sunday at 20:45 GMT.

Napoli

Napoli got off to a rough start this season and, at one point, it was believed they’d get stuck in the middle of the standings for the entire campaign. However, the Partenopei side woke up before it was too late. Even though making the UEFA Champions League for next season is out of the question, they could be in a good position to play in the 2020-21 UEFA Europa League. Their recent form backs that up, as Napoli have won four of their last five Serie A matches, losing just once in that stretch. In fact, the San Paolo outfit has won seven of their last eight Serie A matches (W7, L1) and are on the rise following a slow start to the season. Napoli have also won four of their last five home Serie A matches (W4, L1) and have kept a clean sheet at the break in three of those wins. Thus, getting off to a good start will be key for them.

Team News

Fernando Llorente (undisclosed) has been listed as a game-time decision for this contest.

Kevin Malcuit (knee) has been ruled out for this game. He is not expected to play for Napoli in the remainder of the season.

AC Milan

Milan were another team expected to massively underperform during the 2019-20 season. However, a change in their philosophy and the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gave them new life, and the numbers back that up. The Rossoneri are clearly on the rise thanks to an ongoing five-game undefeated streak (W4, D1) and no one will want to face them down the stretch. As if that strong record wasn’t enough, they’re also coming off a huge 4-2 win against Juventus. Not many teams can say they dominated The Old Lady like Milan did only a few days ago. To make things even better for them, they have lost just two of their last 10 away matches in all competitions (W5, D3, L2). They are undefeated in their last four league matches on the road as well (W2, D2). Extending that streak here could be key for their chances of earning a UEFA Europa League berth next season.

Team News

Mateo Musacchio is out of this clash due to an ankle injury.

Milan’s attacking depth could also suffer a hit in this game. Both Samu Castillejo (thigh) and Leo Duarte (thigh) will both be game-time decisions for the coaching staff.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both Napoli and Milan are coming off back-to-back wins. Plus, both teams have recorded four wins in their last five Serie A matches.
  • Napoli, in fact, have won seven of their last eight Serie A matches (W7, L1) and are on the rise following a slow start to the season.
  • Milan have done a great job finding gaps in opposing defences of late. They have scored at least two goals in each of their last five league matches. Napoli have gone undefeated (W4, D1) in that stretch.
  • The recent H2H matches have been cagey affairs, though. Four of the last five in all competitions have ended with under 2.5 goals scored.
  • However, four of the last five H2H meetings between these two sides at San Paolo have featured three or more goals.
  • The last five meetings between these two sides have also delivered an even record (W1, D3, L1).

Conclusion

Napoli and Milan have seen plenty of goals in their recent Serie A matches. This holds true if we look at the recent H2H record between both clubs playing at San Paolo.

Both sides need a win to put themselves closer towards reaching a 2020-21 UEFA Europa League berth. Ergo, this might end up being a high-scoring game. Especially given how well both sides have looked on the attacking end over the last few weeks.

Verdict: Over 2,5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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