Official: AC Milan vs. Napoli starting XIs – Kjaer and Krunic start

By Isak Möller -

AC Milan will take on Napoli in just over an hour, with kick-off scheduled for 20:45 CEST, and it’s expected to be a very exciting game. The starting XIs for the game have been confirmed, with two changes for the Rossoneri. 

Rafael Leao is serving a one-game and won’t feature for Milan tonight, which is obviously a huge blow for Stefano Pioli. He has chosen Rade Krunic as the replacement and Alexis Saelemaekers thus keeps his spot on the right.

A total of three changes, therefore, as Simon Kjaer and Charles De Ketelaere come in to replace Pierre Kalulu and Brahim Diaz respectively.

Official Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori, Theo Hernandez, Bennacer, Tonali; Saelemaekers, De Ketelaere, Krunic; Giroud.

Bench: Mirante, Tătărușanu; Ballo-Touré, Dest, Gabbia, Kalulu, Thiaw; Adli, Bakayoko, Díaz, Pobega, Vranckx; Lazetić, Messias.

Official Napoli XI (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Kim; Mario Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Politano, Raspadori, Kvaratskhelia.

Bench: Marfella, Sirigu; Juan Jesus, Olivera, Østigård, Zanoli; Elmas, Gaetano, Ndombele; Lozano, Simeone, Zerbin.

Tags AC Milan Napoli Serie A


  1. To me, a straight swap Leao for Krunic feels like suicide, but Pioli’s earned the trust and support to see how it plays out. I was expecting to see either both Messias and Salamaekers or something more radical such as a 3-6-1 to free up Hernandez to attack more. May be relying on the press even more than usual here, and against a team who are adept at playing around one.

    1. Krunic will most likely track back more than leao usually does so theo can move more forward and it could also be that he will overlap a lot with de ketelaere. Either way im sure its about balancing the team as good as possible while still keeping some options coming off the bench. Saelemaekers could eventually move over to the left side further into the match while playing messias on the right then. I propably wouldnt have started krunic myself as he hasnt played much lately but if he can help tire napoli before the second half im fine with this choice of pioli.
      Anyways im sure pioli knows better than all of us so lets hope this pans out to a great win today,

    1. Simon Kjær isnt really dependent on his speed but his positioning and how well he reads the game + he is also great with some long passes that gives good opportunity of quick counterattacks. He is also vastly more experienced in playing big matches than kalulu so i wouldnt worry too much to be honest.

    2. Sometimes speed doesn’t have to be competed with speed. Kjaer will be a nice complement. His experience, sense, and of course his signature long ball.

  2. If Krunic indeed starts on the left, the only explanation is that he would be a dummy for Theo to play as a left winger….Krunic would be covering the left back while Theo attacks .
    Inter lost, Juve lost, Roma lost….
    It’s a golden opportunity for Milan to win

    1. Why should we start someone who never been on our starting line up? I love Adli, but he surely needs time and this is the kind of match that we just can’t put too many risks. Krunic will bring more balance to the game.

  3. Damn.. Krunic played exceptionally well. Fantastic job. His improvement is incredible. Those passes and lobs.. DAMN!

    On the other hand, Saele is incredibly weak under pressure. Can’t land a proper pass when its needed. We should move Calabria up in RW and Play Kalulu as RB. Or sub Calabria to play Dest as RW with Kalulu in RB because Davide is on a yellow card.

    Krava will end up having Calabria leave with a red. But so far, Calabria did an incredible job keeping Krava on leash. Dude is completely cancelled in the first have by Davide.

    Forza Milan.

  4. Pioli is the limiting factor for Milan.

    Imagine the terrible substitution with Dest on Calabria when Kalulu is available.

    Imagine also leaving Saelemakers to stay on the field for too long

  5. CDK disappointed again today. Nice hockey assist for theo but you expect a professional footballer to make a relatively simple pass with their stronger foot.

    Like Leao and Tonali, this might be his “development” season where he flatters to deceive.

    Half decent cameo from Adli

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