Milan-Napoli, the challenge of the survivors: infirmaries full, Giroud and Anguissa are back

The big match on Sunday evening affected by injuries. Pioli and Spalletti count the available and rely on recoveries

Marco Fallisi-Maurizio Nicita

Milan-Napoli, the big match scheduled for Sunday evening at San Siro, is the challenge of the survivors. The infirmaries of the two teams are full. Pioli and Spalletti are called to jump through hoops.

Here Milan

There are those who have already said goodbye to the season, like Kjaer, who count the hours that separate him from a long-awaited return, see Giroud, and those who have returned but no longer seem like him. Ask Diaz: from the stop for Covid in October onwards, poor Brahim has lost the shine that allowed him to turn on Milan’s games in the first months of the championship. The trouble, however, is that the light has also gone out elsewhere: a light bulb for every physical problem, at the Rossoneri’s home there is plenty of choice. Between current and past injuries, 21 out of 29 Milan players have stopped at least once this season. It is first to count the “survivors”: Tatarusanu, Mirante, Gabbia, Kalulu, Tonali, Saelemaekers, Maldini and Conti, never used by the coach. For Napoli there are five unavailable (Calabria, Kjaer, Rebic, Pellegri and Plizzari) from which Giroud can finally get out, with Leao ready to follow him. Between saying and doing, however, there is evil: if Rafa still feels some in his right thigh, the chances of being there on Sunday in the match against Napoli between high-ranking players will drop to a minimum. After all, the speech is clear: woe to risk complicating things and leaving Ibra without help for other games, Pioli’s attack is already quite ticked like this. To see Pellegri again, we will have to wait until January, as for Rebic.

Here Naples

In this complicated period in which you reflect on whether it is the case to turn to some higher entity to solve the problems related to injuries, Napoli has decided to send a message to its players. The blue club has advocated avoiding crowded clubs and outings (award ceremonies or other) because Covid is lurking and in this delicate moment Luciano Spalletti’s team cannot afford to lose any element, given the narrowness. Among other things, the respiratory problem accused by Piotr Zielinski at the beginning of the game on Sunday worried everyone. The tests so far have averted complications for Zielinski, who has symptoms of tracheitis and tested negative for Covid. In midfield, Napoli seems to have fully recovered only Frank Anguissa, who moved well in the final with Empoli, apart from the unfortunate carom with Cutrone. We will see again only in 2022 Fabian Ruiz struggling with a problematic inflammation. Demme is available but his debilitation resulting from Covid is unfortunately visible to the naked eye. And again Eljif Elmas came out battered from a clash with Parisi and even if he tries to recover, the Macedonian will have to deal with the edema that has developed in the calf in order to understand if he can make it for the San Siro match. Spalletti still hopes to get back Stanley Lobotka, who came out battered with Atalanta but who should recover from his muscle injury in these days. With the pair of midfielders Anguissa-Lobokta the coach could recreate that mix between quality in construction and physicality in the defensive phase that had kept the team at the top of the standings for 15 days, before the double internal slip against Atalanta and Empoli. There is practically no chance that Napoli will recover the champions of defense and attack for the match against Pioli’s team. Some say that Koulibaly on Sunday could leave with the team and go to the bench. But with his muscles, experience teaches that it is better to be cautious. Osimhen, on the other hand, although he always trains with greater intensity, still does not have the doctors’ okay to wear the carbon and kevlar mask. The one that will allow him to try physical contact with his teammates in training.

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Milan-Napoli, the challenge of the survivors: infirmaries full, Giroud and Anguissa are back