Kessié and Saelemaekers help Milan defeat Salernitana
Check out the highlights from AC Milan’s 2-0 win over Salernitana as Franck Kessié and Alexis Saelemaekers sealed the win at the San Siro in December 2021.
AC Milan vs Napoli: Line-ups
Napoli Have What it Takes to Overcome Milan
Losses against Fiorentina and Sassuolo in recent weeks – plus having their Champions League exit confirmed by a 2-1 reverse at Anfield – had stopped Stefano Pioli’s men in their tracks, but the 1-1 draw with Udinese at least temporarily moved them two points clear at the top of the Serie A standings.
Though Inter’s subsequent wins saw their old foes replace them at the top of the pile, Milan remain well placed as the season’s halfway point approaches. There are two fixtures to fulfil before that stage is reached and the brief respite of the winter break can be enjoyed, so last season’s runners-up must first take care of a couple of tricky customers.
Milan have won only one of their last 13 encounters with Napoli in the top flight, losing seven times in the process. Indeed, they have not beaten their fellow title contenders at San Siro since 2014, including a 1-0 loss there last March. Nevertheless, having experienced a rare midweek away from the intensity of first-team action, Pioli and company – who were this week matched up with old boy Andriy Shevchenko and his Genoa side in next month’s Coppa Italia third round – will be keen to capitalise by beating a faltering away side.
The Partenopei’s latest setback came last weekend, when they were beaten 1-0 by Empoli despite firing in a total of 30 shots on their plucky visitors’ goal. Though split by a vital Europa League victory over Leicester City, which helped them progress to the next stage in Europe, that means that Napoli have lost both of their last two domestic games, having previously taken nothing from an enthralling encounter with Atalanta. In fact, since the beginning of November, the Campanian outfit have picked up just five league points – placing them 16th in the table for that period – which gives Spalletti cause for serious concern.
Before the second half of the campaign kicks off in the new year – when they will go on to meet Barcelona in the Europa League and Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia – Napoli will seek to get back on track with a positive return from Sunday’s clash and the subsequent visit of struggling Spezia.
In what is sure to be an intensely-contested affair, a low-scoring draw could be the outcome, with both sides still diminished by injuries up front. Milan have won six from eight on home soil in Serie A this term, but Napoli have held the edge over them during recent years, and can use their counter-attacking pace and interplay to snatch a point.