Napoli star Victor Osimhen will be sorely missed as the team takes on AC Milan in the Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Wednesday, after he has been ruled out due to a groin injury that he is yet to recover from. With the 24-year-old Nigerian leading the Serie A charts with 21 goals this season, it’s going to be a difficult task for Napoli to best their opponents without him in the pitch at San Siro Stadium.
Osimhen, who signed for Napoli from Lille last summer in a deal worth up to 70 million euros (over $83 million), has been struggling with injuries throughout this season and his absence could be seen as a major setback for Gennaro Gattuso’s men ahead of their crucial clash with AC Milan. The 24-year-old had scored six goals in his last seven appearances before being sidelined with the injury that has now forced him out of the UCL first leg match. The former Wolfsburg player, who won Serie A Player of the Month award in January, was also left out of Napoli’s list against Parma over the weekend which saw them clinch an easy 3-0 win.
Osimhen’s absence could mean that either Andrea Petagna or Arkadiusz Milik will lead Gattuso’s attack against Milan on Wednesday night. In addition to Osimhen’s absence, Napoli are also missing some key players including Faouzi Ghoulam and Elseid Hysaj due to injury issues. However, Spaniard Mario Rui is back from suspension and could start for Napoli against AC Milan after serving his one-match ban for getting booked five times this season. Gattuso’s team have been performing rather well lately and have made it into fifth position in Serie A standings with 51 points from 31 matches so far. Meanwhile, AC Milan are second in Italy’s top flight table with 61 points from 30 games played this term – just two behind leaders Inter Milan.
Although they may be without their star striker Victor Osimhen, Napoli will still be hoping to pull off an upset victory against an AC Milan side which is brimming with confidence following its 5-1 drubbing of Crotone over the weekend – where talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted four goals. For now though, all eyes remain on Victor Osimhen and whether he can prove his fitness for the second leg in Naples on April 18th. The team will certainly need him if they are to come away from San Siro Stadium with any hope of progressing further in Europe’s premier club competition wearing their iconic blue Napoli jerseys!