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Napoli Looks to Keep up With Champions as They Host AC Milan

Gonzalo Higuain Napoli

Napoli led the Serie A table for roughly two-thirds of the previous season. Ultimately, it was not enough as Juventus pipped them at the post to take top spot by four points.

With coach Maurizio Sarri and midfield linchpin Jorginho both having departed for English Premier League outfit Chelsea, veteran boss Carlo Ancelotti has taken over the helm of the ship. On Saturday he takes on his former club AC Milan at the San Paolo.

SHARK BITES
  • Napoli is looking to maintain its 100 per cent start to the season.
  • Milan has not beaten Napoli in almost four years.
  • Former Napoli player Gonzalo Higuain will make his Milan debut.

Click here to view the matchup report for this game

Napoli looking for first home win

Napoli found Lazio a tough nut to crack but ultimately came away from the Italian capital with a 2-1 win and three points safely in the bag. Now they are back on home soil and must fancy their chances of overcoming an AC Milan side which has become a byword for inconsistency in recent seasons.

Looking at a simple bet based on the outcome of the match, you can see that Napoli are clear favorites to make it two wins from two. Ancelotti’s new side is at just -167 to take all three points, while Milan are out at +425 to win on the road.

Milan, however, have invested in their squad during the summer transfer window in the hope of breaking into the top four. The likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Tiemoue Bakayoko have been drafted in, but whether it will be enough to arrest the club’s worrying slide remains to be seen.

Milan are nevertheless at -110 to finish in the top four and qualify for next season’s edition of the UEFA Champions League. And here, against Napoli, they have the perfect opportunity to lay down a marker of intent for the upcoming season.

Under Sarri, Napoli became synonymous with a bold, expansive style of football. They scored at a rate of over two goals per game last season, with only champion Juventus outgunning them.

Ancelotti will no doubt bring his own style, but goals remain the order of the day, and we could see them here. OVER 2.5 goals in this game is priced at -143, while UNDER 2.5 goals comes in at +110 – expect to see them at San Paolo on Saturday.

Napoli wants to exert dominance

If Napoli is serious about once again being considered genuine title contenders, then this is exactly the kind of game they need to be winning, and comfortably. A 3-1 win for the home side is priced competitively at +1100.

As ever, remember the golden rule of betting – the more specific your bets, the higher those potential rewards. Napoli like to score and Milan have far from a sturdy defence – therefore, you can combine a Napoli win with OVER 2.5 goals in the game at a price of +140.

Belgian forward Dries Mertens is again Napoli’s main goal threat. He is at -120 to find the net at any time, while you can back him at +300 to score either the first or last goal of the game. Mertens is at only a slightly higher price (+350) to score two or more goals.

From a Milan perspective, it will be intriguing to say the least to see how Gonzalo Higuain fares against his former club. The Argentine international is at +210 to score at his old stomping ground, while you can back him at +700 to open the scoring.

In terms of technical quality, Napoli simply looks too strong for AC Milan and should take all three points without breaking too much of a sweat. You can back Napoli to win both halves at +333, while they are at the shorter price of +137 to score in both halves and +187 to win to nil – without Milan scoring.

Napoli has dominated this fixture in recent years, with Milan failing to record a win since December 2014. For coach Gennaro Gattuso and his charges, that looks unlikely to change this weekend, as the former European champions look set for more disappointment.