Spalletti: ‘No Napoli regrets with Milan in Champions League’


Luciano Spalletti Head Coach of SSC Napoli shouts instructions to his players during the UEFA Champions League quarter final first leg match between AC Milan and SSC Napoli at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, on 12 April, 2023 in Milan, Italy.

Luciano Spalletti is confident Napoli will be able to make up for the absentees in the Champions League quarter-final against Milan. ‘We must not have any regrets.’

It kicks off at the Stadio Meazza at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT).

“We need to enjoy the evening, as these are nights we must relish in their totality. If you earn your place in this evening with hard work, sweat and sacrifice, you must not have any regrets, you go out there and play,” Spalletti told Amazon Prime Video.

The Rossoneri grabbed a 4-0 Serie A victory in Naples on April 2 with a Rafael Leao brace, Brahim Diaz and Alexis Saelemaekers on target.

Stefano Pioli picks the same starting XI as that night, while the Partenopei are forced to start Eljif Elmas as a False 9, as Victor Osimhen and Giovanni Simeone are injured, with Giacomo Raspadori not 100 per cent fit.

“When you are dealing with squads of this level, and I am talking about my own as well as Milan, there are many champions in there. Champions manage to sort out what is missing in others, because that is what makes them champions.

“Just as at the start of the season we were missing great players and those who came in sorted it out, I expect the same today. If we manage to amass 20 more Serie A points than an opponent we face in the Champions League quarter-final, it means we deserved to be here.”

It is a big night for Elmas, not just in this new role, but also as he hasn’t been given much playing time this season.

“He hasn’t played much because I have to choose 11, but he would otherwise always deserve to play.”

Spalletti was asked if he had said something to Stefano Pioli in the build-up to this showdown.

“I know many coaches, especially at my age, I’ve been around for a while. I respect many of them for what they have achieved, their knowledge of the game and the quality of their work. He is one of them.”

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