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Napoli targeting Serie A top spot by doing double over AC Milan

Holly Thackeray | February 21, 2016

Napoli v AC Milan

  • Serie A
  • Monday, February 22nd
  • Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
  • Stadio San Paolo, Naples
  • Live on BT Sport Europe

Can Napoli reclaim top spot?

Scudetto chasers Napoli host fellow Italian giants AC Milan at the Stadio San Paolo, in a match that means much to both side’s chances of a satisfying season.

Following Juventus’ shock stalemate at Bologna, the Little Donkeys have their best chance to reclaim the Serie A summit, as picking up three points from the revived Rossoneri will see them propelled back to first place.

Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Empoli, at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)

Maurizio Sarri is odds-on 4/7 to oversee another victory in southern Italy, but Milan will have other things in mind after putting together an impressive run of nine games unbeaten, leaving them firmly in the race for a Champions League spot.

Little Donkeys seeking double destruction

Though, the sight of Napoli’s sky blue shirts should give Sinisa Mihajlovic pause for thought, after the Campania club mauled Milan 4-0 on San Siro soil earlier this season.

Revenge will surely be in mind, but the Naples club (an excellent 16/5 to win both halves) also found the net three times to no response when hosting the rusty Rossoneri last term.

So, after striking seven against this opposition over two meetings, Napoli are 7/4 for victory to nil once again, or 19/10 to hit the target with three or more.

San Paolo hitman Higuain

Goal gobbler Gonzalo Higuain should be fresh and firing on all cylinders after a rest midweek, and boasts a stupendous strike rate of three in two against Milan when at the San Paolo.

Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Lazio and Napoli at Rome's Olympic stadium, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

AC Milan defender Alex recently highlighted Higuain as the main threat, making an interesting comparison: “We will need to be very wary, as Higuain is right now one of the best strikers in the world,” he said.

“I played with [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic and I can tell you Higuain has the same character and charisma.

“It’s difficult, but if we want to finish third in Serie A then we must put in a great defensive performance at the San Paolo.”

So, back the Argentine sharpshooter at 3/1 to open the scoring, or the same price to help himself to two or more past Alex and co.

Though, the Neapolitan attack is about more than just their leading net threat, as ample scorer and assist-maker Lorenzo Insigne (6/5 to strike anytime) should also return to the XI, with driving force Marek Hamsik (7/4) in support.

Potent partnership

Napoli’s weaknesses have been on display of late, however, as they slumped to back-to-back defeats for the first time this term, after an unlucky league encounter with Juve and a tough time away to Villarreal in the Europa League.

So, the Rossoneri may fancy their chances of causing an away upset, with Mihajlovic’s main marksmen Carlos Bacca (2/1 to be on target anytime) and Mbaye Niang (10/3) a particularly prolific partnership of late, with Giacomo Bonaventura in charge of supply lines from wide.

AC Milan's Carlos Bacca, right, celebrates with his teammate Mbaye Niang after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Genoa, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Milan, then, can make a convincing 3/1 case for a point, but still look too long at 5/1 for a win on the road against Napoli, as the Campania club have the blemish of just one loss at home all season.

Related

There is much more Italian football to enjoy on our excellent Serie A page.

Coral’s top tip: Napoli are so strong at home, so 16/5 for the Little Donkeys to win both halves is excellent value.

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