Read a preview and watch a live stream of AC Milan’s clash with Napoli.
Where: San Paolo, Naples.
When: Saturday February 8, 19:45 GMT
AC Milan head south to face Napoli on Saturday night, with Clarence Seedorf arguably set for the biggest test of his tenure thus far.
The Dutchman has yet to be overawed tactically since his appointment as Massimiliano Allegri’s replacement last month, although he has been complimentary of counterpart Rafa Benitez this week having praised his experience and knowledge of the game.
Benitez has seen his side fall off the pace in the race for the Scudetto, and instead will now be focused on maintaining third place while also looking for silverware in the Coppa Italia and Europa League.
For the Rossoneri, they are still 15 points adrift of a top three finish, and while Seedorf spent time watching Champions League opponents Atletico Madrid last week, they remain a work in progress.
The 37-year-old coach insists that the squad still needs “many hours of study” before this game can be judged a real examination, as he continues to stress the importance of the players accepting and executing his ‘philosophy’.
Seedorf singled out the win at Cagliari as perhaps the best indication of what he wants from his players, in terms of pressing high up the pitch and staying “close to the opponent”.
Nevertheless, he will have to do so without Keisuke Honda on Saturday night, as the Japanese star is missing with illness while Kaka is a doubt with the same ailment.
That could result in a debut for Adel Taarabt, while speculation suggests that Riccardo Montolivo is struggling with injury and so Michael Essien could also make his first appearance for the club.
In contrast, Napoli have few injury concerns as Benitez will also be able to welcome back midfielder Valon Behrami to the squad.
It promises to be a fiery and tense encounter at the San Paolo, as Milan look to avenge their loss earlier this season which was their first defeat to Napoli at home since 1986 after Gonzalo Higuain fired the visitors to victory.