Napoli to provide Clarence Seedorf’s first proper test as Milan coach
A resurgent AC Milan side travel to face Napoli in the 23rd round of Serie A.
Milan, with a 3-1-1 record in their last five Serie A games and unbeaten in the league since the appointment of Clarence Seedorf, will look to continue their good form as they face a powerful Napoli. Rafa Benitez’s side occupy the coveted 3rd position on the league table but are coming off back to back losses to AS Roma and Atalanta, the 3-0 defeat to Atalanta being particularly deflating.
SSC Napoli v AC Milan Betting Odds
Napoli to win – 1.95
Draw – 3.40
Milan to win – 3.60
(All odds provided by Intertops.eu are accurate as of today and subject to change)
Napoli are fifteen points above their challengers, but just three points ahead of Fiorentina who will be closely watching this match as they continue their push for Champions League football. Manager Benitez will surely be looking to get his team back on track as soon as possible, most likely uncaging the recently benched Marek Hamšík, whose exclusion from matches are as puzzling as Napoli’s recent defeats.
Milan on the other hand are coming to terms with the views of Clarence Seedorf and have been playing better football than under Allegri. The attack, while not potent enough considering the weapons at their disposal, have started to play better generally and have managed to pull out some last minute wins. Mario Balotelli looks motivated, Pazzini is returning to form after an eternity on the injury table and January signing Keisuke Honda builds chemistry with his teammates every match.
Before the Seedorf appointment, Napoli would have been clear favourites for this match. However after recent developments, while Benitez’s men remain favoured by bookmakers, Milan’s chances of victory have increased.
Napoli’s defenders must be cautious to not make any individual errors against a side that has numerous talents capable of taking opponents one on one and creating scoring chances. Milan, meanwhile, will have to be on guard against a team that’s excellent on the counter, especially with slow defenders and a midfield that doesn’t always track back. Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli’s top scorer with 10 league goals, will be looking to feast on a pair of centre-backs who lack concentration.
With both teams stronger in attack than defence (with 32 conceded, Milan have a worse defensive record than 16th-place Chievo), a low-scoring game is unlikely. Napoli should have enough to win on home turf, but with Seedorf at the helm, Milan ought to run them close.
Betting Instinct Tip – Napoli to win 2-1 is 8.20 with GR88.com
ZITO MADU (zitov2) is a writer for SBnation, and has written for Surreal Football, LiveBreatheFutbol, and numerous other sports sites