Napoli +0 Asian Handicap at 2.05 with Bet365 - 2 units (min odds 1.95)
- Milan are coming off a morale-boosting 1-1 in the UEL on Thursday against Man Utd, but I have some concerns for them here.
- Firstly, Milan played on Thursday evening in Manchester and are expected to field an almost identical XI.
- Ibrahimović, Rebić, Bennacer, Romagnoli, and Mandžukić will all be unavailable. Calabria is also a big doubt, so Dalot should get another run out at RB.
- Expected XI: Donnarumma, Dalot, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo, Tonali, Kessie, Saelemaekers, Çalhanoğlu, Krunić, Leão
- Milan's recent results against top 6 opponents hasn't been great, they have won just 5 of their last 10 with 17 scored and 18 conceded.
- Most recently, we've seen them beat Roma 2-1 (strong XI), lose to Inter x2 (0-3 and 2-1), lose to Atalanta 3-0 and lose to Juventus 3-1.
- Looking at the xG difference in matches played against the current top 6 this season, we see an average of -0.77xG difference per 9o mins
- From those games against top 6 they are allowing a whopping 2.68xGA per match
- When they last met Napoli, they won 3-1, but this was a close game, and Napoli had a man sent off (Bakayoko) 30 mins before the end.
- Overall this season Milan are overperforming in a big way defensively. Across all competitions this season, they have allowed 1.42xGA per 90 with 1.18 goals conceded per 90.
- In terms of chances allowed in Serie A this season, they rank 7th best with similar numbers to Lazio and Torino.
- Napoli, who exited the UEL in the last round, had no European distractions this week and will be in much better shape than their opponents.
- Furthermore, they have all of their starters available. Napoli's only definite absentees right now are Petagna and Ghoulam, neither of which are starters.
- Both Manolas and Koulibaly are available at CB, although it seems right now that Rrahmani will be favoured to partners Koulibaly (they did well last weekend)
- Napoli's best goal contributors (Goals + Assists) per 90 will all be available for selection. Mertens (0.82), Insigne (0.78) Lozano (0.65) Zielinksi (0.57) and Politano (0.57)
- Expected XI: Meret, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui, Fabian, Bakayoko, Politano, Zielinski, Insigne, Osimhen. Lozano and Mertens will start from the bench.
- Napoli have one of the better recent records against top 6 opponents; they've won 6 of their last 10 with 2.1 goals scored per game and only 1.1 conceded.
- Across all competitions, Napoli concedes just 0.95 goals per 90 with Koulibaly on the pitch. Having their captain back will continue to have a massive impact on results going forward.
Final word: This is the first week I can remember AC Milan fielding their best available XI in Europe; expect that tough midweek match to be very evident this Sunday.