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AC Milan vs Napoli: UCL Quarter finals, 1st Leg Match Preview, Predicted Line-ups and Fantasy XI

In the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, AC Milan vs Napoli at San Siro. The defending champions of Serie A

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Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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AC Milan vs Napoli | Sportz Point.

In the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, AC Milan vs Napoli at San Siro. The defending champions of Serie A will square off against the front-runners in this season's race for Scudetto.

AC Milan vs Napoli: Match Preview

Napoli are still the feel-good story of the ongoing season and look to continue what has been a remarkable campaign to date. With only nine league matches remaining and a 16-point advantage at the top, a first Serie A title since 1990 looks almost certain. And they are in the Last Eight of Europe's elite competition for the first time in their history.

AC Milan vs Napoli| Sportz Point.

After a loss to Milan in Serie A, Napoli visit San Siro once again this week (Image- Getty Images)

They are living a dream, and nobody wants to wake them up. However, reigning Scudetto champions AC Milan gave them somewhat of a rude awakening, strolling to a remarkable 4-0 league victory at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona to set themselves up nicely for this Champions League showdown.

It looked like Stefano Pioli's side have finally turned a corner following a sub-par four-match winless run in all competitions (D2 L2). But Empoli dashed their revival hopes last Friday. Despite having 70% possession and attempting 23 shots, Milan were held to a scoreless home draw against the bottom-half strugglers.

In addition to failing to consolidate their flailing pursuit of a third straight top-four finish in Serie A, that disappointment may have knocked their confidence further in what has been an underwhelming season by all means unless they defy the odds massively in the Champions League. But there is no time to mull over as Napoli come to town.

Luciano Spalletti's men, meanwhile, bounced back from the aforementioned fiasco in Naples with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at bottom-half Lecce last Friday. A comfy cushion atop Serie A gives Napoli plenty of wriggle room in domestic matters, which could benefit their stellar Champions League run.

The Partenopei are aiming to go the distance and claim European success, which has eluded them since their historic UEFA Cup win in 1988/89. 

Team News:

AC Milan:

Rossoneri rested their first team players in their fixture against Empoli, so, they'll have a well-rested squad ready to host Napoli at San Siro. Former Liverpool attacker Divock Origi got a chance in Milan's last game.

However, with the return of Olivier Giroud, it's highly unlikely that he'll get to play in the UEFA Champions League.

Napoli:

A major blow for Napoli awaits as they'll face Milan without their main man, Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian target man has been in exceptional form this season. Moreover, pairing up with Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Osimhen was the forthright reason behind Luciano Spalletti's side's win. 

Following Osimhen's absence, Giovanni Simeone's presence is also under a massive question mark. That leaves a huge room for the possibility that Giacomo Raspadori will lead the pack for Naples. After being absent against Lecce, Piotr Zielinski will be back in action against Milan.

AC Milan vs Napoli: Head to Head:

Napoli have a good recent record against AC Milan and have won 13 of the last 32 matches played between the two teams, as opposed to AC Milan's eight victories.

AC Milan have lost only one of their nine matches against fellow Italian teams on the European front, while Napoli have secured one victory and one defeat each from such games.

AC Milan have won only one of their last nine home games against Napoli in all competitions, with their only such victory during this period coming in the 2018-19 Coppa Italia quarterfinals.

Napoli have won each of their last three matches away from home against AC Milan in all competitions - their best such run against the Rossoneri.

Predicted Line-ups:

AC Milan Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, Hernandez; Tonali, Krunic; Bennacer, Diaz, Leao; Giroud

Napoli Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Rrahmani, Rui; Zambo Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Lozano, Raspadori, Kvaratskhelia

ACM vs NAP: Fantasy XI

Maignan, Tomori, Kjaer, Kim, Tonali, Zambo Anguissa, Lobotka,Leao; Giroud, Raspadori, Kvaratskhelia

Uefa Champions League Ac Milan Ssc Napoli