Napoli vs AC Milan: Prediction and Preview
We look ahead to the second leg of this all-Italian UEFA Champions League quarter-final in Naples with our Napoli vs AC Milan prediction and preview.
Napoli vs Milan: Quick Hits
- Napoli are favourites to win this UCL second leg against Milan with the Opta supercomputer (55.5%) ahead of kick-off.
- AC Milan will be looking to become the first team to defeat Napoli in three different matches within a single season since Lazio in 1994-95.
- If Napoli fail to score in this match, it’ll be their longest run without a competitive goal in over 10 years.
- Bet365 have a new account offer ahead of this UCL tie.
AC Milan will be looking to become the first team to defeat Napoli in three different matches within a single season since Lazio in 1994-95. Should they do this, they’ll be certain of a place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, where they’ll either face rivals Inter Milan or Portuguese giants Benfica.
The omens are good for Milan, with them having won their last three away matches against Napoli – their joint-longest winning run against them away from home. The last team that they defeated away from home twice in a single competitive season were Sampdoria in 2015-16. Can they shock Napoli yet again? Milan are 4/1 to win in Naples on Tuesday night with bet365.
They hold a 1-0 lead from the first leg in the San Siro and could reach their first UCL semi-final since 2006-07. But beware Milan fans. They have been eliminated twice before from UCL knockout ties after winning the first leg – in 2003-04 versus Deportivo de La Coruña in the quarter-final (4-1 first leg, 0-4 second leg) and 2012-13 against Barcelona in the last 16 (2-0 first leg, 0-4 second leg).
History suggests the worst for Napoli fans, however. They have been eliminated from their last 10 European knockout ties after losing the first leg, last progressing to the next round after suffering a first-leg deficit in the 1988-89 UEFA Cup quarter-final versus Juventus, overturning a 2-0 first leg defeat to win 3-2 on aggregate before going on to win the tournament that year.
Milan won the first leg of this UCL tie at the San Siro last week, thanks to Ismaël Bennacer’s first-half strike.
Bennacer’s goal was the sixth that Milan have scored against Napoli in all competitions so far in 2022-23, which is double the tally of any other opponent versus the Naples side. In fact, 40% of Napoli’s defeats this season have come against Milan (2/5), with Stefano Pioli’s side the only team to beat them more than once in 2022-23. Indeed, Milan are also the only team to have stopped Napoli scoring on more than one occasion this season (4-0 win in Serie A and 1-0 in the first leg of this tie).
Napoli will be without the suspended André-Frank Zambo Anguissa for this match following his dismissal in the 74th minute of the first leg. He became only the second Napoli player to be sent off in a UEFA Champions League game, after Juan Camilo Zuñiga in November 2011 (vs. Bayern Munich).
This will be Milan’s second trip to Naples this season, and they’ll be hoping to replicate their success from earlier this month, when they hammered Napoli 4-0 in front of their own fans in their Serie A clash.
Goals from Rafael Leão (two), Brahim Díaz and Alexis Saelemaekers condemned Napoli to their heaviest league defeat since December 2007 and their biggest margin of defeat in a home league game in nearly 23 years (October 2000).
Milan’s eight shots on target were the most faced in a Serie A match by Napoli this season, while this was the second time in two competitive meetings across 2022-23 that Milan have posted a higher xG total than Napoli – 0.9 xG higher in this match, after having 1.3 xG more than Napoli at the San Siro in September, despite losing that Serie A game 2-1 at home.
Milan’s form has been indifferent of late, but they seem to be able to raise their game against Napoli.
Since the start of March, Pioli and co have won just two of their eight competitive matches, but both of these have come against Serie A leaders Napoli. This weekend’s 1-1 league draw away at Bologna was their second successive Serie A stalemate, following a 0-0 home draw with Empoli the weekend before.
Away from home, Milan have lost twice as many games (four) as they have won (two) since 14 January, losing at Lazio, Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Udinese on the road (all in Serie A) and defeating both Monza and Napoli over this period.
Napoli are winless in their last two competitive matches, losing the first leg of this tie to Milan before drawing 0-0 at home to Verona on Saturday. This is the first time that Napoli have been winless in two consecutive games in all competitions since August, while it’s the first time that they have failed to score in back-to-back matches across all competitions since December 2020. They haven’t gone three games without scoring in over 10 years, since failing to score in four consecutive matches in February 2013. Surely this talented Napoli team can’t fail to score yet again? They are 4/1 to go goalless for a third successive match with bet365.
Napoli won Group A of the 2022-23 Champions League, ahead of Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers. Only five teams have ever scored more goals in a UCL group stage than they managed this season (20). In the round of 16, they comfortably progressed through a tie with Bundesliga side and reigning UEFA Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt, 5-0 on aggregate (2-0 away, 3-0 at home).
Despite drawing a blank in the first leg, they are still the current joint-highest-scoring team in the 2022-23 Champions League as it stands, with 25 goals (alongside Man City), although they’ve got some way to go if they have aspirations of becoming the highest-scoring team in a single UCL season.
Milan reached the quarter-finals of the UCL after a 1-0 aggregate victory over Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in the last 16. After winning 1-0 at the San Siro via an early Brahim Díaz strike, they played out a goalless draw in London to make it to the last eight. They finished second in their group stage behind fellow quarter-finalists Chelsea, but ahead of RB Salzburg and Dinamo Zagreb in Group E.
Napoli: Victor Osimhen
Napoli need goals in this game, so they will be ecstatic about the return of striker Victor Osimhen. Their fit-again top scorer came off the bench in their weekend draw at home to Verona with 17 minutes remaining and hit the bar but couldn’t find the winner in the 0-0.
With 25 goals across 30 appearances in 2022-23, this is already his best ever club season in front of goal. The only players within the top five European leagues to have scored more competitive goals than the Nigerian this season are Erling Haaland (47), Kylian Mbappé (32), Marcus Rashford (28), Robert Lewandowski (27) and Karim Benzema (26) – none of which ply their trade in Serie A. Apart from the highest scoring of those five players (Haaland and Mbappé), Osimhen has a better minutes per goal ratio (91 mins), too.
He’s scored four goals in his last four UCL appearances, netting twice against Eintracht Frankfurt in his last appearance in addition to strikes away at the German side and in a home game versus Ajax in the group stage, but he’s never scored in two previous appearances against Milan. Napoli will be hoping that stat will change for the better on Tuesday night.
Osimhen will be looking for an early goal to set Napoli on the way to a potential comeback in this tie. He’s 15/4 to score the first goal of the game and 6/4 to score at any time with bet365.
Milan: Rafael Leão
Twenty-three-year-old winger Rafael Leão is undoubtedly one of Milan’s most talented players. The Portuguese midfielder has the ability to unlock even the best of defences, as we saw in his side’s last trip to Naples.
Leão scored two goals in Milan’s 4-0 win at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on 2 April and was a constant thorn in the side of the Napoli defence. This season is the second in succession that he’s hit double-figures for goals (11 in 2022-23 after scoring 14 in 2021-22), while only five Serie A players have been involved in more competitive goals than him (43) since the start of last season. Of those 43 goal involvements, 18 have been assists for team-mates – only three players across Serie A have more competitive assists in that time.
Leão’s main threat is his ability to run with the ball at opposition defences. Since the start of 2021-22, no player has beaten an opponent with as many dribbles (223), attempted as many shots following ball carries (109) or created as many chances from ball carries (48) as he has.
Napoli vs AC Milan Prediction
Napoli need to win this fixture to have any chance of progressing to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, and the Opta supercomputer thinks they’ll do it.
Luciano Spalletti’s side are given a 55.5% chance of overcoming their Serie A rivals Milan at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Tuesday, while Milan have a 44.5% chance of getting either a draw or win to take them through to a potential Milan derby in the semis versus Internazionale.
A one-goal victory will only see Napoli get to extra time – and potentially penalties, however. As a result, the Opta supercomputer still sees Milan (57.9%) as favourites to progress from this tie.
As the third-best team in the Opta Power Rankings, Napoli’s chances of winning the UCL (12.0%) are higher than Milan’s (9.4%), as there is a belief that Napoli have a better chance against prospective opponents in both the semi-finals and the final than the Rossoneri.
Manchester City are the favourites to win the title this season (44.8%), ahead of Real Madrid (16.8%) and Inter Milan (14.5%), while Bayern Munich (1.5%), Benfica (0.6%) and Chelsea (0.5%) are all but dead to the Opta supercomputer following their quarter-final first leg defeats.
Who do you think will win the UEFA Champions League in 2022-23? All the latest odds via bet365 are here.
Napoli vs AC Milan UCL Squads
Napoli: Alex Meret, Claudio Turi*, Hubert Idasiak*, Valerio Boffelli*, Pierluigi Gollini, Kim Min-Jae, Juan Jesus, Mário Rui, Amir Rrahmani, Mathías Olivera, Bartosz Bereszyński, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Benedetto Barba*, Leo Østigård, Matteo Marchisano*, Eljif Elmas, Piotr Zieliński, Gennaro Iaccarino*, Alessandro Spavone*, Stanislav Lobotka, Gianluca Gaetano, Tanguy Ndombélé, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (suspended), Victor Osimhen, Hirving Lozano, Giovanni Simeone, Matteo Politano, Antonio Pesce*, Pasquale Marranzino*, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Giacomo Raspadori.
Milan: Mike Maignan, Andrea Bartoccioni*, Antonio Mirante, Lapo Nava*, Fotios Pseftis*, Davide Calabria, Fodé Ballo, Theo Hernández, Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori, Simon Kjær, Alessandro Florenzi, Malick Thiaw, Matteo Gabbia, Dorian Paloschi*, Andrei Coubis*, Andrea Bozzolan*, Davide Bartesaghi*, Adam Bakoune*, Ismaël Bennacer, Sandro Tonali, Brahim Díaz, Tommaso Pobega, Rade Krunić, Alexis Saelemaekers, Kevin Zeroli*, Antonio Gala*, Christian Foglio*, Olivier Giroud, Ante Rebić, Rafael Leão, Divock Origi, Junior Messias, Gabriele El Hilali*, Jordan Longhi*, Charles De Ketelaere, Federico Mangiameli*, Gabriele Alesi*.
*Player List B
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