Milan kick-start their Serie A campaign with a blockbuster showdown against Napoli on Saturday night. Gennaro Gattuso remains at the helm, despite speculation linking Antonio Conte with the Rossoneri hot seat and will come up against a familiar face in Carlo Ancelotti. Meanwhile, the Azzurri chalked up a highly impressive 2-1 victory against Lazio in their opening fixture of the new season.
Where and when: San Paolo – 25 August, kick-off 19:30
Where you can see Napoli vs. Milan: Eleven Sports 2
Last time: The sides played out a goalless draw back in April as Napoli’s title bid began to falter.
|Both teams to score||6/4||Offer|
|Milan to win||9/2||Offer|
|Suso to score last||11/1||Offer|
Napoli v Milan Predictions and Preview
After a frustrating summer on the transfer front, Ancelotti got off to a winning start in his first competitive match in charge. The three-time Champions League winning boss was expected to be given the funds to push champions Juventus all the way in the title race but failed to bring in a big name star. Nevertheless, the likes of all-time top scorer Marek Hamsik, Dries Mertens and hometown hero Lorenzo Insigne all remained with the Partenopei and can be relied upon to deliver match winning performances. This mouthwatering encounter has many fascinating subplots, notably Ancelotti against his former club he fared so successfully with, particularly during a four year period starting in 2003.
Ancelotti opted for Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik ahead of Mertens in the victory against the Biancocelesti and the 24-year-old repaid his coach’s faith in him by bagging the equaliser after Ciro Immobile’s sensational opener. Milik is expected to keep his place and is 4/1 to register first. Napoli are strong favourites at 3/5 to make it two wins from two.
Pepe Reina returns to face his former side for the first since moving to the Rossoneri and will be afforded a hero’s reception. The stopper was loved in Naples but the same can’t be said for team-mate Gonzalo Higuain. The duo are reunited in Milan after playing together for the Partenopei and all eyes will be on Higuain who is likely to be jeered from the opening whistle. The Argentine is favourite to open the scoring, and his account for the Rossoneri, at 3/1 and will relish the opportunity to silence his critics. Milan are 17/4 to claim all three points while the draw is 3/1.
One to watch for Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne is 13/8 to bag anytime and add to his tally after his stunning first time finish against Simone Inzaghi’s side last week.
One to watch for Milan: Patrick Cutrone. The Italian youngster is likely to make way for Higuain but should feature after the break, especially if the Rossoneri are chasing the game. Cutrone is 17/2 to hit the last effort of the game.
Long shot: Gattuso gave numerous chances to Nikola Kalinic and Andre Silva but the pair fluffed their lines almost every gameweek during the 2017-18 campaign. Gattuso is unlikely to suffer the same despair this year with the goalscoring burden falling at the feet of Higuain, an elite striker who can be relied upon to reach 20 league goals. With Higuain in the side a Milan result is not out of the question and the visitors can be found at 40/1 to win a pulsating encounter 3-2.