stats17 September 2022

AC MILAN v NAPOLI: OPPONENT REVIEW

Strengths, weaknesses and secrets of Spalletti's squad

Equal on points (14) at the top of the table, together with Atalanta. The Best attacking sides in the league after 6 games: 13 goals for the Azzurri and 12 for the Rossoneri. Two young, ambitious and richly talented sides, who are used to playing positive and attacking football. AC Milan v Napoli will close out the 7th game week of Serie A 2022/23: A luxurious Sunday postponement opens the door to the first break for national team commitments and can give further indications on the status of Pioli and Spalletti's teams.

AC Milan come into this game unbeaten in 22 league matches - 15 wins and seven draws - while Napoli have won six of eight league games (two draws), including both matches already played in the Champions League group stage against Liverpool and Rangers. The Campanians have kept a clean sheet in 6 of their last seven Serie A matches (0.4 goals conceded per game), a lot more than their previous 25 (an average of 1.1 goals conceded) and they will fight to stay unbeaten in the first four away games of the season for the third year in a row, something they have never done before. All the ingredients are there for it to be a night of great and action-packed football at San Siro.

"SPALLETTIANO" PRESS AND WINNING THE BALL HIGH: THE AZZURRI TRADEMARK
The match between the Rossoneri and Azzurri promises to be explosive in the tempo. Two sides that are used to playing at a fast-pace, not saving energy and exploit the speed and unpredictability of their attack and their wingers. Napoli, as is traditional for Spalletti's teams, press very high so as to not give the opposition a chance to breath. The Campanians are the side with the most offensive recoveries  this season (60) and are also top for goals after winning the ball high up (13).

It will be a coordinated attack on the Rossoneri midfield and early exchanges to get early chances: Bennacer and Tonali will have to be very careful. Napoli are a team who love to dominate possession (61% average so far, the second-highest figure in the tournament), who push continuously and who are set up to play in the opponent's half, as evidenced by the number of passes made in that area of the pitch: 1644, second only to Fiorentina so far. Spalletti's men have often come out on top from stamina: the first team in this Serie A for goals scored in the middle (six) and final (six) thirds of a match. Statistics that highlight this in concrete terms.

ZIELIŃSKI WILL BE A ROSSONERI NIGHTMARE, KVARA WILL SHINE FEARLESSLY
These are the men in best form and in the limelight in the Campanian ranks so far this season are two, a Polish and Georgian player. AC Milan is the favourite victim of the first of the two, Piotr Zieliński, who in the Serie A has put away four goals against the Rossoneri. The Napoli midfielder started this new year in sensational form: playing the leader, given technical responsibility, he has already scored three goals and four assists across the Serie A and Champions League.

The second, on the other hand, arrived almost without a whisper, and now he is breaking on to the scene without a single bit of fear: only Ciro Immobile (10) has more shots on goal than Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (nine) in this Serie A. Among the players who have made at least 7 shots on goal, furthermore, the Georgian has played the least minutes (368). "Kvara" is also the player this season with the most involvements to a goal-scoring sequence (43), always proving to be at the centre of Spalletti's ideas. Another trick up their sleeve to be wary of, even in a game of progress, is another new addition to the Campanians: Giacamo Raspadori. He has been part of three Serie A goals against AC Milan (a brace in April 2021 and an assist in November 2021), and was reduced to just one goal in the Champions League in Glasgow. The former Sassuolo player is one to keep an eye on; The rossoneri is the team he has been involved with the most goals against in the league.


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