Will Napoli forward Victor Osimhen be fit to face AC Milan? Luciano Spalletti provides injury update ahead of crucial Champions League clash
- Striker nursing muscle problem
- Won't figure against Lecce in Serie A
- May be ready for European duty
WHAT HAPPENED? The runaway leaders of Serie A are readying themselves for a European encounter with domestic rivals, with the first leg of an eagerly-anticipated tie set to take place at San Siro on April 12. Star striker Osimhen, with 25 goals to his name already this season, faces a race against time to make that fixture after picking up an untimely muscle injury.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti has ruled the Nigeria international out of his plans for a league meeting with Lecce on Friday, but admits he could figure against Milan. Spalletti said when delivering a fitness update on Osimhen: “Tomorrow there is no chance, we go to the following week with the work schedule. For the following matches there are many possibilities from a programming point of view, but you have to wait for the practical development of the work.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Napoli suffered a shock 4-0 defeat to Milan on home soil in their last Serie A outing, but Spalletti has already shrugged off that result with his side sitting 16 points clear at the top of the table. He added: “We know that Milan came into the match with the fear of losing it, we probably came into the match with the belief that it could be a filler match towards the Champions League. That made a difference to the motivation for the match.
"After talking calmly about what happened, we know very well that from here on it will all be difficult battles to win in order to bring home this Scudetto. As long as we are one point away we will have done nothing, everything will be swept away until that point! Then there’s also training, talking about some defeats, you can’t win all the time.”
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? While Napoli have plenty of margin for error in Serie A, they will be desperate to have Osimhen available in continental competition – with the 24-year-old frontman seeing his exploits this season attract transfer interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.