Serie A: Napoli v AC Milan Preview and Team News

Tags: Football

Published: 12:11 25/10/2010

Walter Mazzarri’s Napoli team can announce themselves as genuine contenders for a Champions League slot with victory against third-placed AC Milan on Monday night. Online bookmakers are giving away free bets to first-time customers and cash back special offers for the televised Serie A game between Napoli and AC Milan in the San Pablo stadium at 7.45pm on Monday. Napoli will jump from sixth to third, level on points with second-placed Inter, if they can conjure a win against Massimiliano Allegri’s ageing stars. Napoli have been beaten just once in all competitions this term and are on a run of five matches unbeaten, but need to find the killer instinct in front of the fanatical home support. With draws in both home games in their Europa League qualifying group and a solitary Serie A win against Roma at the beginning of October, better use of home advantage could make Napoli a force for the rest of the season. Online bookmaker 888 Sport are offering odds of 15/8 for Mazzarri’s team to continue their progress up the table and take three points on Monday. Only Samuel Eto’o has scored more Serie A goals than Napoli striker Edison Cavani this term and 888 Sport bet 13/2 for Cavani to score the first goal of the game to go level with the Inter striker on seven. Napoli will be without defender Paolo Cannavaro who is suspended and striker Cristiano Lucarelli who is injured, otherwise Napoli are at full strength. Milan suffered a 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid in the midweek Champions League clash at the Bernabeu. Although the result was expected, the manner of defeat exposed the physical limitations of Milan’s midfield and the forward line lacked ideas when the going got tough. While Allegri’s team can leapfrog their city rivals Inter with a win, their away form is less than inspiring and Milan’s big name stars need to start delivering if they are to silence detractors. Ronaldhino misses the trip to Naples with injury but Allegri has Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Robinho to deploy as his strike force and he is likely to find a formation to accommodate the trio. Ibrahimovic is Milan’s main target man and has scored twice in six Serie A appearances so far, online bookmaker Unibet offer him at odds of 19/10 to score at anytime in the game. Centre back Thiago Silva is unavailable due to injury and Sokratis Papastathooulos is the expected replacement. Other Milan players sidelined with injury are Massimo Ambrosini, Marek Jankulovski, Ignazio Abate and Gianluca Zambrotta.

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