The top clash in Serie A this weekend sees Napoli host Milan at Stadio San Paulo tomorrow, as two title hopefuls duke it out in a match which will feature some major African talent, including Kalidou Koulibaly, Ismael Bennacer and Franck Kessie. Victor Osimhen is a doubt because of injury.
Milan have been the sensation of the 2020-21 season thus far, and Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli has expressed his delight at the way in which his players have responded to his methods and tactics. “What I see is that my players are happy and satisfied, but we have a lot more to do,” Pioli explained.
Napoli, meanwhile, have seen inconsistency in their play early in the season, with manager Gennaro Gattuso insisting that the hectic schedule and tough competition near the top of the league goes a long way in explaining their form.
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Said Gattuso. “We’ll try to get into the top four. It’s a very strong league this season, every team is smart, they change their shape, and it is really difficult to find a way through. I see my Napoli team. We’re not as sharp as we were before, but with a game every two-three days, that’s only to be expected.”
In England, Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester City in London today, with the Lilywhites and manager Jose Mourinho looking to make a statement of intent.
Spurs have been one of the most impressive teams on show early in this season and the potency of their attack, which features Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and the returning Gareth Bale marks them out as a genuine threat.
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“It’s very early on but our motivation is clear. For us, we’re going into every game to try and win. We know that’s not possible but that’s our ambition. We’re going into every game, no matter the competition believing we can win,” said the versatile Eric Dier.
Elsewhere in England’s top flight this round, Chelsea will fancy their chances of three points on the road when they visit Newcastle United; Manchester United will be desperate to claim a home win in the Premier League when they welcome West Bromwich Albion to Old Trafford; and Liverpool host Leicester City in a potential thriller at Anfield.
There will also be an intriguing clash between Leeds United and Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta looking to test out his wits against the tactical nous of Marcelo Bielsa in what should be a match of incredible intensity at Elland Road.