Serie A weekend action starts with a Friday bang as Napoli and Inter prepare to go head to head in a high-profile clash, which will be the second match in just four days’ time for both teams. Partenopei and Nerazzurri are heading into the highly-anticipated clash on the back of contrasting results, but with the same desires and aspirations.
Decision time for Napoli
The Partenopei find themselves in a difficult position ahead of the five-match run that could mark the entire season for the Italian club. Five-match run begins with Inter coming to town, but Napoli are already thinking about the trip to Portugal next week and the UEFA Champions League clash at Benfica which could seal their European faith by sending them either to the knockout stage or down to the Europa league. The pressure is piling for Maurizio Sarri’s team and Partenopei are starting to feel the heat as they are coming off from a disappointing 1-1 stalemate against Sassuolo. Lorenzo Insigne’s opened was denied by Gregoire Defrel’s stunning equalizer which handed Napoli’s Scudetto hopes a big blow. Heading into a decisive month for the club, Maurizio Sarri is prepared to ring plenty of changes to his squad as he continues to rotate in order to keep his men fresh for the great challenges that lie ahead.
Diawara is ready to step in form Jorginho, whereas Zielinski is expected to take over from Allan. Albanian defender Hysaj will be rested for the occasion with May stepping in to fill in for him, whereas Ghoulam is ready to replace Strinic in the starting line-up. Sarri has no major selection issues with the exception of Milik, who remains sidelined through injury.
Can Inter finally turn the corner?
Serie A fallen giants Inter have endured some fairly difficult times of late. Stumbling and falling both domestically and internationally, Nerazzurri lack courage, composure but also some luck to their cause of getting back to winning ways and paths of old glory. Ownership changes induced the managerial shift as Frank De Boer was replaced by former Lazio boss Stefano Pioli who on Monday grabbed his first win in charge of Inter. Nerazzuri managed to hold on to beat 10-man Fiorentina on Monday night and record a morale-boosting 4-2 win, which comes as a timely turn in fortunes ahead of the highly-anticipated clash with Napoli. Only four days prior to their defeat of Fiorentina, Inter threw away a two-goal lead to lose to Hapoel Be’er Sheva and bow from the UEFA Europa League in quite a disappointing manner, so Monday’s win will have had a great significance for Inter Milan.
Powerful midfield enforcer Medel will not be in contention for the trip to Napoli as he struggles with his ankle injury, while Davide Santon is another confirmed absentee for the Friday’s encounter. Palacio and Eloge have had some fitness issues, but there is a possibility they could be involved albeit from the bench.
Maurizio Sarri’s men are under a lot of pressure and will be urged to make instant amends for the disappointing draw against Sassuolo. It was their fourth draw in last five matches and Partenope are beginning to feel desperate for the win. On the other side, Inter managed to record a morale-boosting win which comes at just the right time for Pioli’s men. All in all, we should witness a highly-contested clash at San Poalo.
Top Pick: Both teams to score – yes 1.64 (7/11) @Unibet
Alternative Pick 1: Home win 1.87 (20/23) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Mauro Icardi to score anytime 2.75 (7/4) @Betfair