BREAKING: Victor Osimhen Out Of Champions League First Leg Clash With AC Milan.

Victor Osimhen would miss Napoli's Champions League quarterfinal first leg againt fellow Italian side AC Milan after failing to recover a groin injury in time to play in the San Siro on Wednesday night.

The 24-year-old Nigeria Super Eagles star, is the main goal threat for the Naples going forward, as he currently leads the Serie A charts with 21 goals this season, and has played a vital role to help put Napoli on the brink of winning their first Serie A title since 1990.

He was omitted from manager Luciano Spalletti's squad for the trip to Milan and is now battling to prove his fitness for the second leg at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium on April 18.

Osimhen has been absent since scoring twice against Torino on March 19 after sustaining a discomfort to his left knee while on international duty with his country Nigeria.

He has missed Napoli's past two games, including the disappointing 4-0 defeat at home to Milan on April 2, and the 2-1 win away to Lecce last Friday.

But Spalletti said his team are capable of taking control of the tie without the star striker and urged them to treat the occasion as being "like Christmas Eve."

"I decided not to play Osimhen because I don't want him injured for too long," Spalletti said Tuesday. "We have another game against Milan next week and I want him fit for that.

"But we have won very important games without Osimhen. We are here because we have won without him in this competition and I am expecting the same, that all my players rely on their teammates' abilities.

"We can't go on the pitch and be afraid. We need to take this chance and enjoy the game.

"This is like Christmas Eve. The game, the day before the match, the dinner before the match, it is all there to be enjoyed."

The absence of Osimhen, who has scored four goals in five Champions League games this season, is a major blow to Napoli, who had gone into the tie as favourites having built a 16-point lead at the top of Serie A, and are 22 points clear of fourth-place Milan.

That will count for nothing when the teams meet on Wednesday, said AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli.

"The match in the league will obviously give us an idea, but there's no way it will be the same match again," added Pioli.

"I think we can expect something different from Napoli so we need to be aware whether we need to make changes from the match in the league."

No comments

Powered by Blogger.