AC Milan’s hopes of reclaiming the title they last won in 2021/22 are looking slim, as they go into this matchday eight points behind leaders and rivals Inter Milan, despite being unbeaten in their last eight Serie A games (6W, 2D). Their games have been entertaining, with both teams scoring and conceding at least two goals in their last three matches (2W, 1D). The club has never done that in four consecutive Serie A matches.
However, failing to keep clean sheets has hurt them, as evidenced by the recent 2-2 draw against Bologna, which ended a five-game winning streak at home in Serie A. Nevertheless, rumors persist about coach Stefano Pioli’s potential departure in the summer, with Julen Lopetegui and Graham Potter being the latest names mentioned as possible replacements.
While things are looking tough for Milan, defending champions Napoli have been an even bigger disappointment this season, although their recent progress in Serie A (2W, 1D) has brought them closer to the European qualification places. After beating Verona 2-1 in a match where all three goals were scored after the 70th minute, coach Walter Mazzarri is reportedly considering changing tactics again.
He has successfully modified his formation in recent times to cope with injuries and international absentees, but the lack of fit defenders is an additional challenge. His tactical nous will be tested as Napoli look to extend an impressive unbeaten away run against Milan in the league that dates back to October 2015 (5W, 3D). The last four wins have been by a single-goal margin.
Key Players: Luka Jović has scored after the 80th minute in two of Milan’s last three games. This includes the winning goals against Frosinone and Udinese (2W, 3-2). Napoli’s Khvicha Kvaratskhelia scored his last two goals after the 70th minute against Verona after a long drought. Napoli have won all 18 games in which he has scored for the club.
Hot stat: 29% of the goals scored in Napoli’s league games this season have come after the 75th minute (17/58).