Serie A is back with a bang following the international window, as Napoli welcome early pacesetters Milan to the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday night. This is the tie of the round, as the table-topping Rossoneri face a true test of their title credentials against the third-placed Azzurri.
Where and when: Stadio San Paolo – 22 November, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Napoli vs. Milan: Premier Sports, LiveScore app, Bet365 live streaming
Last time: Milan took an early lead but needed a late penalty to secure a point, as the teams drew 2-2 on this ground in July.
Napoli v Milan Predictions and Preview
Milan and Napoli finished sixth and seventh respectively in last season’s Serie A table, but both clubs have their sights firmly set on the higher echelons of the Italian top flight this time round. With Juventus struggling to find their best form under Andrea Pirlo, this could be a golden chance for the rest of the division’s clubs to end the Old Lady’s utter domination of Serie A.
Based on their size and historic success, Milan are one of the clubs who would be most wounded by Juve securing an unprecedented 10th successive scudetto this season. Last term’s title triumph means the Bianconeri now have exactly double Milan’s tally of 18, with the Rossoneri’s most recent crown in 2011 the last time any other side lifted the scudetto.
Stefano Pioli would go down in history if he could guide this Milan side to the title, and winning matches like this against a big team like Napoli would go a long way to instilling the confidence required in his players. Not that leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic is short of confidence. The Swedish striker should be raring to go after a break during the international window, and the performance of Serie A’s top marksman is going to be key both here and throughout the season.
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Milan to win and BTTS
Milan to win 2-1
Ibrahimovic to score first
With Ibrahimovic fit and firing, you’d fancy Milan to stay in the hunt. You’d also fancy them as the 21/10 underdogs for the win on Sunday, with the Rossoneri in fine form this season. They’ve already beaten another title contender in the form of local rivals Inter, while Pioli’s side have only lost one of their opening 12 fixtures in all competitions this term – against Lille in the Europa League.
Milan are unbeaten in Serie A after winning five of their first seven league matches, while Napoli are three points back after losing twice. The Azzurri are yet to draw in the league this season, with the odds of that run coming to an end this weekend priced at 13/5. As each of the last three Serie A meetings between these clubs have ended all square, that bet could certainly be worth a look.
The hosts are the 7/5 favourites for the win in these Napoli v Milan predictions though, with the away team failing to win any of their last 11 league games against their hosts on Sunday. Napoli have won six of those fixtures, with Milan’s most recent victory a 2-0 home win in 2014. The Rossoneri haven’t won in Naples in a decade, but Milan look a different beast this season and could be about to end that run.
One to watch for Napoli: With Victor Osimhen set to miss this game through injury, there’s more pressure on Hirving Lozano to come up with the goods on Sunday. The Mexican forward has four goals in six Serie A appearances so far this term, and is 13/2 to add to his tally with the opener here.
One to watch for Milan: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the man of the moment despite turning 39 last month. The mercurial Swede has eight goals in just five Serie A appearances so far this season, and is the 22/5 favourite to continue his impressive form by breaking the deadlock in this game.
Long shot: Milan’s last away victory over Napoli was a 2-1 triumph back in 2010. A repeat of that result this weekend is priced at 21/2 in this Napoli v Milan preview, rising to 53/1 if you add Ibrahimovic as the first goalscorer.