- Second-placed Napoli hosts third-placed AC Milan on Sunday, March 6, in a game with massive title implications
- Both teams will be desperate to stay on the heels of leader Internazionale, now one point clear
- Read on for betting odds, a full preview and best bets for this huge Serie A clash
To say Sunday’s clash at Stadio San Paolo, now called the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, could be hugely pivotal in this season’s title race is something of an understatement. To drive the point home further, the match is already drawing comparisons with the identical fixture some 25 years ago, when the guy the stadium is now named after lost out to Ruud Gullit and the Rossoneri on their way to piping the Neapolitans to the title.
Inter’s massive 5-0 win over Salernitana on Friday sent it one point clear at the top, where it remains as the favorite in the Serie A odds to defend its title. So with all three teams now having played 27 games, a win for either side here would give it a massive boost in the title tussle, and send it top of the table with 10 rounds to go.
Napoli vs AC Milan Odds
|Napoli vs AC Milan||NAP -0.5 (-120) | MIL +0.5 (+100)||NAP -118 | MIL +340 | DRAW +255||Ov 2.5 (+100) | Un 2.5 (-125)|
Odds as of March 5th at Barstool Sportsbook.
For those who are new to soccer betting, Sunday’s match will have lots to offer, including star power, tension and a score to settle.
Fresh off of three straight draws – two of which have been in the league – there is likely a sense of desperation enveloping Milanello these days. Before Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Inter in the first leg of the Coppa Italia, Milan dropped four points in consecutive draws with Salernitana and then Udinese, falling back to the chasing pack in the scudetto race as a result.
However, on the bright side, the Rossoneri are unbeaten in five games, although their impressive 2-1 derby win over Inter and their consequent 4-0 obliteration of Lazio in the cup feels like it took place far longer than just over a month ago.
Spalletti’s Team Sputtering?
Just like Milan, Napoli went through its own stretch of three consecutive draws inside the last month, with league ties against Inter and Cagliari sandwiched either side of a 1-1 Europa League draw with Barcelona. But worse was to follow for Luciano Spalletti’s team, with that sequence ended by a 4-2 home loss to Barca that ended Napoli’s European odyssey for this season.
However, with chances of possible silverware this season poised to sink without trace, Napoli bounced back last Sunday with an injury-time winner from Fabian Ruiz to secure all three points at Lazio after the home side had drawn level in the 88th minute.
⚽🅰️ Lorenzo Insigne vs Lazio:
2 chances created
5/8 duels won
— TFC 2022 (@Total_TFC) February 27, 2022
Revenge Time For Rossoneri?
Napoli comes into this game knowing it already has the besting of Milan this season, having put a dent into its rival’s championship challenge with a 1-0 win at San Siro back in December. A fifth-minute goal was all that separated the sides in a very tight contest, with each side generating just two shots on goal and enjoying a fairly even split of the possession.
There’s almost nothing to separate these two teams in the league table too, with both having exactly 17 wins, six draws and four losses apiece. Napoli shades the goal differential battle, however, with a +30 margin compared to Milan’s +24, owing to a far better defense that has conceded 10 fewer goals. With just 19 goals against, Spalletti’s team actually boasts the meanest defense in the entire division.
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) March 5, 2022
It promises to be a tough test for the Rossoneri, who have beaten their southern rivals just once in the last 14 attempts, losing eight of those matches. However, Stefano Pioli’s team did win on its last visit to Naples, but has not posted consecutive victories there in over 40 years.
Napoli vs AC Milan 2021-22 Stats
|17-4-6||2021-22 Serie A Record||17-4-6|
|20.1||Expected Goals Against||27.7|
|DDDLW||Form This Season||WWDDD|
After scoring twice in the 3-1 at Napoli last season, all eyes are on Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic entering this match, with the Swede having been out injured for over a month. The signs are positive that the talismanic forward could play some role in this game and will likely come off the bench to support a Milan attack that has scored 53 goals in 27 games.
— Milan Posts (@MilanPosts) March 5, 2022
However, Danish defender Simon Kjaer remains out, while midfielders Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer should return for Milan, which will help make up for the absence of Franck Kessie.
For Napoli, Hirving Lozano and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa should return, while Kevin Malcuit and Axel Tuanzebe look set to remain on the sidelines.
Best bet: Draw (+255)