Who dares is Stefano PioliNot Luciano Spalletti, never seen so cautious. The Napoli coach is on the run towards the Scudetto but also from reality as soon as he discovers that the draw for the Champions League puts his Napoli against Milan: «The favorites for qualification are the Rossoneri».
But how, his Napoli have a 20-point lead in the league, they won 2-1 in the first leg, yet the Tuscan coach, making a personal projection, his exit poll on the quarter-final against Milan, maintains: «Milan he has a great international experience, it will mean something, whoever says that we are the favorites is incompetent: just think that Paolo Maldini won the Champions League 5 times». Too bad Maldini doesn’t play anymore… Stefano Pioli is less imaginative, more adherent to the facts, to the reality of the moment: «In the quarterfinals, all the teams are difficult to face. Napoli is strong and is dominating the championship. But the Champions League is the Champions League and Milan is Milan.”
Reasoning that doesn’t make sense, but he himself knows that Napoli is Napoli. Even the bookmakers know it, to the point that the very Italian Snai, after careful studies and surveys, sentences with its odds: Manchester City is offered at 3.50, Napoli and Bayern Munich at 4.75, so they are second in terms of odds and predictions. Do you know where Milan is? Last at 20. Superstition, tactics, strange psychologies, allow everything in the field of predictions.
But if one evaluates the European path of our three teams involved in the quarter-finals, there are few stories (more than justified if created by Spalletti) as Napoli are the huge favorites in the double confrontation with Milan. And certainly not because bookmakers from all over Europe support it. Napoli won 7 out of 8 matches in the Champions League, dominating them, playing spectacular play, just like in the league, they convinced everyone, surprised and punished those teams and those coaches who underestimated the talent of Osimhen & Kvaratskhelia. Milan and Pioli certainly won’t make such a mistake, far from it, but the advantage of the future Italian champions is clear.
Even Inter knows it, who defeated Napoli in the championship. Now it’s better that he concentrates on Benfica. She is an adversary within his reach, Simone Inzaghi he knows the Portuguese game perfectly, he has already tamed Porto with merit, effort and, it must be admitted, luck (especially in the final minutes of the second leg): why not insist? Inter have the ideal technical dimension to prevail over Benfica who, never forget, eliminated Juve from the Champions League. Coached by the German Schmidt, the Portuguese team plays modern football, few passes and is in goal, knows how to protect themselves intelligently, is judged the revelation of the season (even more overbearing at European level the surprise effect of Napoli).
Let’s hazard a predictionbut it’s a game: Benfica-Inter (Inter pass), Napoli-Milan (Naples pass), Manchester City-Bayern Munich (Bayern pass), Real Madrid-Chelsea (Real pass).