DAZN journalist Riccardo Mancini believes that AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli will find a way to cope without Rafael Leao against Napoli on Sunday.
It will be a huge clash between two teams that have been the pace setters of the season so far along with Atalanta. You can keep track of the game which kicks off at 20:45 CEST through Serie A live scores.
Mancini spoke during an interview with MilanNews in which he analysed the next battle between Pioli and Spalletti which will take place at San Siro on Sunday night.
Is this Serie A season already proving that even in a single match you have to sweat for every single point?
“I really think so because the level of the so-called small and medium-sized teams has risen. Moreover, the big names are not yet in top condition and, therefore, I think it is normal that in this beginning they are made to pay. Looking at Milan, Napoli and Inter, even if the victories came with difficulty, they showed, again, that they have everything to fight until the end for the title.”
How did you view Milan’s win against Sampdoria?
“A victory for a great team, for a mature team that knows its means. Until a couple of years ago Milan, in those conditions, would not have won the match. In Genoa they had an important reaction where values and awareness emerged. Pioli’s work has been extraordinary and can be seen in these aspects too.”
Can having an experienced striker like Giroud help in certain situations?
“Experience weighs and weighs especially on those occasions. Sampdoria had equalised and was becoming dangerous. Giroud, in this sense, in addition to the penalty, proved to be a fundamental point of reference for his team-mates. I still remember the skepticism when he arrived in Milan, a skepticism silenced by goals.”
Leao and Osimhen will miss the game, who will pay more for their absence?
“Napoli because they don’t have a real substitute for the Nigerian. Simeone has a different type of game that Spalletti will have to adapt. Milan does not have an easy task replacing Leao but he has a great group structure and can come out of the team. They are heavy absences but perhaps Napoli are more penalised.”
Do you expect a strong response from Milan also in Europe?
“They have to find some continuity. A possible victory with Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday could give a big boost also in the league. It is a fundamental step for the Rossoneri squad.”