Prediction: Correct Score 2-2
Inter Milan and Napoli will be looking to cut the gap at the top of the Serie A table on Wednesday evening as they clash at the San Siro.
The two sides sit second and third in the standings ahead of the match, with a victory in Milan giving a statement to the rest of the league about their title credentials.
Following their failure to secure the UEFA Europa League and Serie A titles last season, it’s fair to say that the pressure ramped up on manager Antonio Conte ahead of the current campaign. Despite finishing bottom of their Champions League group, their fortunes have been much better domestically. The Nerazzurri have only lost one out of their opening 11 league matches, that being a 2-1 defeat to great rivals AC Milan back in October. Since then though, Conte’s troops have gone seven league matches undefeated, including winning their last four following a 3-1 success against Cagliari last time out. Throughout the season, they have also found the back of the net regularly. Inter have thus far netted the most goals in the Italian top flight with 29. As a matter of fact, they have not failed to find the back of the net in a league match since a 0-0 with Fiorentina back in July.
Defender Achraf Hakimi is a slight doubt having been withdrawn against Cagliari with an ankle injury. He should be replaced by Matteo Darmian. Conte also has a problem in midfield, with the likes of Arturo Vidal, Matias Vecino and Radja Naingolan all restricted to the sidelines. The injuries do not stop there though. Alexis Sanchez and Andrea Pinamonti are also doubtful.
Much like Inter, Napoli have been trying to build on what was a poor 2019/20 campaign. The Naples outfit eventually finished seventh in the league, leading to a big-spending summer. They certainly seem to have improved, sitting just four points off of top spot. In fact, no side in the league has won more matches than Napoli’s eight, whilst their points per game of 2.09 is considerably higher than last season’s 1.63. Whether they are able to sustain that throughout the duration of the campaign remains to be seen but it is certainly promising. They come into this game off the back of a handful of really positive results having beaten Roma, Crotone and Sampdoria. Gennaro Gattuso’s men now have the chance to make it four consecutive Serie A wins for the first time since June. Another extremely positive omen heading to the San Siro could also be Napoli’s away form this season. Of their five away league matches this season, they have only lost won, a 3-0 defeat to Juventus. They have claimed victories in the other four, keeping clean sheets in each.
Striker Victor Osimhen remains out for Napoli having missed the last four league games with a dislocated shoulder. Andre Petagna will most likely continue to deputise in the Nigerian’s absence. Elseid Hysaj could return to the starting line-up having recovered from COVID-19.
Key Facts To Consider
- No player has more goal contributions in Serie A this season than Romelu Lukaku (11)
- Inter won the last meeting between the two 2-0 in July
- Inter do not actually have a home clean sheet in the league this season
- Only Juventus have conceded fewer goals than Napoli’s 11 this season
- In five attempts as a manager, Gennaro Gattuso has never beaten Inter Milan in a league game
This match really should be a great watch, with both sides currently gunning for the title. They both have plenty of places capable of making the difference; Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez, Hirving Lozano, Lorenzo Insigne and many others. Considering Inter’s uninspiring defensive record at the San Siro recently, there could well be goals. It is likely to be an entertaining draw in Milan.
Prediction: Correct Score 2-2
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