AC Milan take a slender 1-0 advantage to the Stadio Diego Maradona and a place in the Champions League semi-finals is at stake. Napoli have now been beaten twice to nil by AC Milan in recent weeks. Stefano Pioli’s men will be confident travelling here, especially having already won at this venue 4-0 in a Serie A clash a few weeks ago. This is sure to be a spicy clash with both teams giving it absolutely everything to make it through.
Just as I did for the first leg, I’ve broken down the stats from their Serie A campaigns so far. That includes data to help you in over/under goals, corners, and cards markets, as well as player shots, goals, assists, passes, cards, cand foul markets. Tons of useful stats used alongside my Stats Pack Guide should assist in leading you onto a winner.
Kim Min-jae is suspended for Napoli which is a major blow for them defensively. Juan Jesus will likely replace him in the team, but he has been lacking game time this season, less than 1000 mins in all competitions. The 31 year old Brazilian is however an experienced head who can be counted on. The big question mark is whether Victor Osimhen will be fit enough to start. He was given 18 mins off the bench at the weekend and the general consensus is that Napoli must take the risk and put him in the XI. Perhaps he has been ‘saved’ for this fixture. Midfielder Zambo Anguissa is suspended after his red card at the San Siro.
There is a strong chance that AC Milan will keep the same team which did the job in the first leg. We know that this is a side who made 10 changes at the weekend so had a clear focus and priority on this game. Olivier Giroud was rumoured to have a mild foot issue, but he surely won’t be missing a big match like this one.
Napoli average an impressive 2.20 goals per game which is an overachievement compared to their xG of 1.77. Their defence has been impressive with an xGA of just 0.84. They have only conceded an average of 0.70 goals per game, aided by their opponents only having 2.60 SOT. Napoli have fired in an impressive 15.87 shots in each fixture and have not shied away from attempts.
Napoli matches have mid to high corner rates with 5.90 for and 4.07 against. Napoli won the corner battle 10-3 last week on the road. They have managed to draw a massive 2.77 cards per game on average from their opponents. Luciano Spalletti’s men have generally been very clean this season and only picked up an average of 1.34 cards themselves. They did let their discipline get away from them in the first leg though, amassing 7 cards!
AC Milan average 1.63 goals per game and 1.23 against. Their xG and xGA metrics correlate closely to these numbers. Milan average 14.83 shots per match with 4.87 on target. They only concede 3.33 SOT in each fixture which is relatively impressive. Napoli managed 5 SOT against them last week.
Corners have been low in Milan games. They only average 4.47 themselves with 4.77 against. This is something to watch out for because their wide players often cut inside and don’t look to stretch the field. As aforementioned, they comfortably lost the corner battle last week. Cards have been astronomically high in AC Milan games with 2.73 for and 3.13 against. Cards do tend to flow more readily in Serie A, but this still shows their games can regularly flare up. Last week totally proved that point.
Player shots and shots on target
The main man upfront Victor Osimhen is back. He averages 4.69 shots per 90 mins with nearly 2 on target. Napoli have a completely different dimension when he is in the team. Kvicha Kvaratskhelia has the next highest number of shots for Napoli at 3.17 per 90 mins with 1.12 on target. The duo of Lozano and Zielinski both like to try their luck and comfortably average well over 2 shots per 90 mins.
Both Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao average around 3.50 shots per 90 mins. Neither are especially accurate though at around the 33% mark. Attacking midfielder Brahim Diaz fires in nearly two shots per 90 mins with 0.89 on target and has been more accurate. Left back Hernandez averages 1.85 shots per 90 mins but might not operate as high here in a 4-2-3-1 system.
Player goals and assists
Victor Osimhen has scored 21 goals and Napoli will be delighted to have him back. Only Erling Haaland is probably a better striker worldwide right now. Kvicha Kvaratskhelia leads the team for assists with 10 and he has also scored 12 times. Midfield runners, Zielinski and Lozano have also chipped in with goals. Polish international Zielinski is the second leading assist maker in the team with seven.
The two leading scorers for AC Milan are Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud with 10 and 8 goals each respectively. They also lead the team for assists with 6 and 4. Brahim Diaz has five goals and four assists. That trio of attackers are absolutely key for Milan. Theo Hernandez is probably more dangerous as a wing back but has chipped in well. Tonali’s five assists from midfield is the second most in the team.
Napoli have averaged a massive 61% possession this season. As a result, several of their players have eclipsed the 70 passes mark per 90 mins. Kim Min-jae has been the most reliable for passes but is suspended here so maybe Rrahmani and Juan Jesus are the men to back. Midfielder Lobotka is another to watch out for due to his average game time and 65 passes per 90 mins. It is worth noting that Napoli only had 52% possession in the first leg, but that should increase in front of their own fans.
AC Milan average 53.50% possession but might give up more of the ball to Napoli here. Even in the match they won 4-0 recently they only had 39% vs Spalletti’s men. Several players average over 50 passes per 90 mins with centre backs Simon Kjaer and Tomori perhaps the most likely to have a high mark in this game. They did have 48% of the ball in the first leg with Tomori (61) and Kjaer (77) leading them for passing.
Napoli cards and Fouls
Napoli are usually a clean team but lost their heads last week and picked up a whopping seven cards! Zambo Anguissa was sent off and now Kim Min-Jae is suspended. Defender Juan Jesus must be a contender for fouls and cards coming into the team considering he faces Olivier Giroud. Lozano & Osimhen will press from the front and are candidates to commit fouls in less dangerous areas. Both full backs Di Lorenzo and Rui will be tested by the AC Milan wide men.
Both Theo Hernandez and Brahim Diaz are major candidates to draw fouls and cards. Hernandez is an attacking left wing back, averaging 2.30 dribbles per 90 mins. He might not venture as far forward in a 4-2-3-1 system. Diaz is a skilful playmaker who sits in the hole or drifts wide and can be elusive. The Napoli fullbacks could be tested here because Milan’s main danger comes out wide. Leao is another player who can cause all sorts of trouble, whilst the central midfield trio will all be combative.
Match-ups to watch:
Hirving Lozano vs Theo Hernandez
Juan Jesus vs Olivier Giroud
Giovanni di Lorenzo vs Rafael Leao
AC Milan cards and fouls
The Italian outfit average a high number of cards. Striker Olivier Giroud is a very physical striker and has nine cards in addition to fouling an average of 1.83 times per 90 mins. Rafael Leao also has 8 cards and can get hot-headed. He only fouls 0.65 times per 90 mins but is a candidate to put in a silly challenge at some stage. The midfield duo of Tonali and Krunic are also strong possibilities to go in the book and produce fouls, along with left back Theo Hernandez. How Krunic avoided a card in the first leg was unbelievable. He put in at least one challenge which was a clear booking.
Kvicha Kvaratskhelia averages 6.74 dribbles per 90 mins. He is amazing 1 vs 1 and is fouled 1.53 times per 90 mins. Players are actually starting to become really afraid and don’t commit themselves to him. Left back Mario Rui is actually fouled more on that side of the field. Hirving Lozano is another with a high dribbling rate and is brought down nearly twice per game. Lobotka will regularly get stuck into some midfield battles and someone who can be a foul magnet because teams try to stop early Napoli counter-attacks.
Match-ups to watch:
Olivier Giroud vs Juan Jesus
Rade Krunic vs Stanislas Lobotka
Theo Hernandez vs Hirving Lozano
My Bet Builder Picks of the Pack
I’m expecting this to be filled with action given it’s all to play for in the second leg – an absolute dream for bet builders. So here’s some of my bet builder value selections that you can add to your bet builder below.
Napoli vs AC Milan
Napoli average 5.90 corners per game.
This increases to 6.87 at home.
Milan concede 4.77 corners per game.
This increases to 5.75 away from home.
Napoli managed 10 corners in the first leg and 10 corners when they met in Serie A earlier this month.
Napoli average 5.37 shots on target per game.
Milan concede an average of 4.87 shots per game.
Napoli managed 6 in the first leg.
In the second leg, they have to come out the blocks to overturn the 1 goal deficit.
Rade Krunic averages 0.99 fouls per game, and has received 6 bookings this season.
He has committed at least 1 foul in each of his last 3 matches.
That includes 2 in each of the matches against Napoli.
He has committed 9 fouls in the Champions League in 8 appearances at a rate of 1.47 fouls p/90.
He is up against Stanislav Lobotka and Tanguy Ndombele who draw 1.73 and 2.53 fouls p/90.
Theo Hernandez commits 0.74 fouls p/90 in Serie A.
He has committed at least 1 foul in 6 of his last 8 appearances for club and country.
He has committed 8 in the Champions League this season at a rate of 1.07 p/90.
He committed 1 in each of the games vs Napoli this month.
That is because he is up against Hirving Lozano who draws 1.64 fouls p/90.