The race to the UEFA Champions League semifinals will be completed this week, with Serie A prominent in the schedule as Napoli host AC Milan and Inter Milan face Benfica.
Chances of an all-Italian semifinal remain high, with the Milanese duo both winning their first legs, as runaway Serie A leaders Napoli attempt to overhaul a 1-0 loss to Stefano Pioli’s side.
Luciano Spalletti’s team have a 14-point title lead in the Scudetto battle, but they have lost twice to AC Milan already in 2022/23, including a San Siro slip last week.
Napoli team news
Napoli suffered more damage in the first leg than the 1-0 scoreline may suggest. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa was booked twice in the space of five second-half minutes, earning himself a red card which rules him out of the upcoming tie.
Spalletti has lauded Kim Min-jae as the “best defender in the world” this season but the centre-back will not be available to show his worth in Naples after collecting a suspension-inducing yellow card four minutes after Anguissa’s red.
In better news, Spalletti confirmed that Serie A top scorer Victor Osimhen will start the second leg after returning from injury in a goalless stalemate against Hellas Verona on Saturday. Backup striker Giovanni Simeone is expected to remain sidelined with a muscular problem.
Napoli predicted lineup vs Milan
(4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Jesus, Rui; Elmas, Lobotka, Zielinski; Lozano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia.
Milan team news
While Napoli are able to welcome back their focal point up front, there was a real concern that Milan would be without their number nine. However, after sitting out the 1-1 draw with Bologna on Saturday and missing training the following day, Olivier Giroud was back with the group for Monday’s session.
Giroud may have shaken off his Achilles tendon issues but Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be involved. Pioli left the 41-year-old out of his Champions League squad altogether for the second half of the season given his chronic struggles with a myriad of injury issues this season.
Milan predicted lineup vs Napoli
(4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Krunic; Diaz, Bennacer, Leao; Giroud.
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