How Milan’s starting XI could look against Napoli on Sunday evening

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan will have to shift focus from the Champions League to the league as they will take on Napoli this Sunday. It’s a huge game for the Rossoneri and some of the XI choices can already be predicted. 

Stefano Pioli and his men will need to bounce back with a win after two defeats, but the injury situation is still not ideal. Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Noah Okafor could be back for this one, though, which would be a huge boost.

In defence, Davide Calabria should play from start after coming off the bench against PSG, with Theo Hernandez on the opposite side. The heart of the department, however, is a bit up in the air as Fikayo Tomori might need some rest. Simon Kjaer appears to be in line for a starting spot, especially since Malik Thiaw is suspended.

Further up the pitch, a lot will depend on the condition of Loftus-Cheek. His return would likely put Yunus Musah on the bench, with Tijjani Reijnders and Rade Krunic/Yacine Adli completing the department.

Finally, Noah Okafor should be back for this game after struggling with some fatigue and is set to replace Olivier Giroud. Luka Jovic is suffering from muscle fatigue, forced to abandon the warm-up yesterday, and his condition will have to be monitored.

Probable Milan XI (4-3-3): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Kalulu (Tomori), Hernandez; Loftus-Cheek (Pobega), Adli/Krunic, Reijnders; Pulisic, Okafor, Leao.

Tags AC Milan Napoli


  1. I don’t think Pioli still got it. I want to support him because he won us the league, but he doesn’t convince me anymore. He does not have the winning mentality that can take us to the next level. Just see his words after every loss, is this what a manager with the mentality to win every game would say. I don’t think we will part ways with him anytime soon, but we need a change. Look what Arne Slot and Xabi Alonso are doing with their respective teams. Slot ended Ajax dominance and is on track to reaching R/O 16 in UCL, Feyenoord are also not a team which is dependent on a single player. They can win games without Santiago Gimenez. Meanwhile, Pioli still needs individual magic to score goals. It’s either Leao or Pulisic nowadays.

    1. Pioli should try Pellegrino and Luka Romero sometimes, now with injuries and all. They should get some opportunities to show what they can bring to the team. Otherwise, it would be a waste to buy them and keep them on the bench when they are still this young.

    2. Zaccheroni won us the league once too, in his first season no less, and then did jack sh!t for the rest of his career. That scudetto was Zaccheroni’s high water mark, just like 2021-22 was Pioli’s.

  2. 16-17 years guys are getting Chance in another team but not with pioli. He will will give you chance only when he don’t have choice

    1. Its happend since Auba era, he never had a single chance to prove. Dollaruma was lucky Miha didn’t had any choice back then since all 3 GK is injured

      1. Leao is under contract until 2028. If the club needs to generate funds it makes zero sense to sell him since Theo and Mike both expire in 2026, and next summer will be the last chance to get full value on players that are would probably fetch 80m and 60m respectively. So, unless they renew, they are much better candidates to be sold.

    1. I’m beginning to think he should mess around with a 3-4-3. This will continue to give us defensive solidity, while also keeping Leao and Pulisic up high, since neither really contributes defensively (Pulisic a little more than Leao).

      Kalulu, Thiaw, Tomori
      Florenzi/Calabria, Musah/RLC, Reijnders, Theo
      Pulisic, Giroud, Leao

      Out of possession it becomes a 5-2-3, or even 5-4-1.

    2. I agree with you on 4-2-3-1 formation. Reijnder should be our number 10 while Leo and Pulisic to be by his side.

      Okafor can be Leo backup, Chukwueze for Pulisic backup and Jovic for Giroud. Loftus Cheek and Yunus Musa will be the best double pivotal while Adli and Krunic should be backup.

      Bennacer can rotate with Reijnder while Romero can rotate with any of the attackers.

  3. I’m done with this 4 3 3 nonsense every game. Eith change the tactics to it or switch formation. I’m sick of passing it to the wings every time with players who can’t put a cross in, and if they do its giroud against 4 defenders. Or simply passing it back to defence to just get the opposing team back into position. We’ve been toothless against any above average team. So either change the tactics and learn to drive to the net and create, switch formation or get the heck out. Sick of being mediocre when we have a team capable of competing against most teams.

  4. For the 433 to have a chance we need Loftus back and Reijnders back on the left. Bennacer will be a big boost.

    Now get us a top #9, a top CB and stop playing suicide press and 433 will have shot!

    1. 100%. I would also say maybe a top DM, but this may be Benny when he returns. A lot will depend on his form when he comes back. If it’s the normal Benny then we might not have to get a DM. If he’s not the same player I think we’ll need to get one next summer and let Krunic go.

  5. Pioli is a man with no backup plan,proved again. He is such an easy prey for experienced coaches this season. Zaire-Emery showed him what a 17 yo kid can do, but he can still continue with his mistrust for primavera players. Jimenez,Bakoune,Chaka,Stalmach,Simic and others shoul already get a few minutes. Abate even transformed their tactic to 433 this season to be closer to the first team but that means nothing to a coward.

    1. I disagree. Inter is the only one on this list that is definitely better, and 50% of that is because Inzaghi steals Pioli’s lunch, and when Pioli’s mom comes to yell at him he steals hers too. I think we are on par with Napoli. Their defense is weak and so is their coach. We’re definitely better than Juventus, it’s just that once again Pioli has no clue what to do with a 5 man defense in a low block. With a proper coach I think we are the undisputed second best team in the division ATM and thus a title challenge is a reasonable expectation. With a proper coach and a proper striker we would be an easy favorite for the title.

  6. 433 isn’t suitable for Milan. 4312 is the better. Milan needs to have a twin attack. Giroud is old.. he is more suitable as the 60th min sub.

  7. My prediction a 4-3-3 with the possibility to switch in a strong and compact 442 we play against the seria a winner. We have to defend with great attitude. This is the reason why i prefer to play musah as a RF/RM to help cover kvaradonna against the ball

    Adli, Krunic, Reijnders
    Musah,Giroud, Leao

    SUBSTITUTION: Pobega xAdli, Pulisic xMusah, Okafor xGiroud, Kjaer xCalabria, Florenzi xReijnders(Theo)

  8. Want to lose? Do the same thing again. Play Leao. He will do some stupid thing again with his bad decisions. And the team will lose because Pioli put all the eggs in 1 basket. But Pioli probably has no balls to replace Leao with Okafor.. who is much better in decision making than Leao.

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