Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 2/3
In what could be an action-packed affair from the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Sunday night, Napoli will welcome Inter Milan to town.
Starting with the hosts, while Napoli might have marked their return from November’s international break with a much-welcomed 2-1 victory away at Atalanta, Walter Mazzarri’s new squad certainly came crashing back down to earth in midweek. Eventually getting hit with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Spanish giants Real Madrid, the one-time Watford boss appears to have a real job on his hands in Naples. Although the Azzurri might have made real history last season as they claimed a first Serie A crown since 1990, Napoli have rather drastically struggled to find a similar level this time around. Winning just one of their previous four appearances on either side of the fortnight interval, the reigning Italian champions have also shown some rather glaring issues on home soil. Including a 3-1 drumming against Fiorentina on October 8th, Sunday’s hosts are without a win at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona since the end of September.
Sustaining what looks set to be a long-term knee injury against Atalanta last weekend, Napoli will once again be without defender Mathias Olivera on Sunday night. Likewise, suffering a groin strain prior to November’s international break, Mazzarri’s side are once again sweating over the fitness of 32-year-old Mario Rui.
However, returning from his own knock last week, attacking talisman Victor Osimhen should make a first Serie A start since the start of October here. Notching four strikes in as many appearances for club and country, Georgia international Khvicha Kvaratskhelia will play a leading role this weekend.
As for the visitors, mounting a stunning Champions League comeback away at Benfica earlier in the week as they eventually snatched a 3-3 stalemate, Inter Milan are enjoying what has been an extended purple patch. Breezing their way to the knockout stage and not having to get out of third gear, last season’s European finalists should find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high. Opening this weekend’s fixtures holding a two-point buffer at the top of the Serie A table and tipped as a genuine title contender this time around, Simone Inzaghi’s side have lost just one of their first 18 appearances across all competitions. Really firing on all cylinders, the former Lazio boss should be smelling a potential opportunity when his squad travels to Naples this weekend. Yet to taste a single completive defeat away from the San Siro this season, Inter will be desperate to make a heavyweight statement here.
Not making the trip over to Benfica earlier in the week, Inter Milan are once again sweating over the fitness of Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries here. Likewise, sustaining a knee injury prior to November’s international break, Inzaghi’s side will also be without former Bayern Munich defender Benjamin Pavard on Sunday night.
While attacking talisman Lautaro Martinez might have had to settle for a spot on the bench away in Portugal a few days ago, the 26-year-old will certainly make a full return here. Former Arsenal superstar Alexis Sanchez could get the nod and partner Martinez in the final third.
Key Factors to Consider
- When Napoli and Inter Milan last met back on May 21st, Sunday’s hosts picked up a 3-1 victory at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
- However, the reigning Serie A champions have failed to win any of their last five straight home fixtures across all formats.
- Inter Milan have suffered just a single defeat from their first 18 appearances across all competitions.
- Argentina international Lautaro Martinez has bagged 13 Serie A strikes in as many appearances this season.
- Four of the last five meetings between Sunday’s opponents have finished with both teams finding the net.
Two sides who played out their own respective Champions League thrillers in midweek, we could be treated to another action-packed affair here. With chances expected to come thick and fast at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Sunday’s opponents do have a habit of producing fireworks when they meet. It should be highlighted, with four of the last five meetings between Napoli and Inter Milan seeing both teams find the net, we are expecting a similar outcome in Naples.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 2/3
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