Serie A leaders Napoli lock horns with second-placed Inter Milan in a direct duel of the only two unbeaten sides in the Italian top flight. With both sides in flying form in promises to be an exciting contest on Saturday evening.
The 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City in the Champions League during the week will have done little to disrupt the positive atmosphere in the Napoli camp. Partenopei put up a brave fight at a more powerful – both in economic and sporting sense of the word – rival and can be proud of their efforts at the Etihad. Maurizio Sarri’s men will need no special motivation as they shift their focus to domestic exploits. Eight wins in as many Serie A rounds are a testament of Sarri’s impressive work with the talented squad which has become a joy to watch. Sarri’s attack-oriented football is drawing plenty of plaudits across the country and entire continent with Napoli currently seen as biggest favourites for Scudetto. Napoli have already dispatched the likes of Lazio and AS Roma which is why the forthcoming Inter Milan challenge comes as great test to their title ambition.
Maurizio Sarri will be hoping Lorenzo Insigne will return from his thigh injury in time for the Saturday’s clash although Adam Ounas is ready to step in and deputise in what would be his first start for Napoli.
Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik remains a long-term absentee due to his knee problem.
Inter Milan holding an important advantage over Napoli
Hadn’t it been for that 1-1 draw against Bologna earlier in September, Inter Milan would now be neck-and-neck with Napoli on top of Serie A standings. This way, Nerazzurri are trailing league leaders by two points but still have a great chance of stealing the leading position if they manage to grab a win in Naples. Inter Milan will not be underestimated but they are making a trip south with a big advantage over Napoli. the lack of European commitments could play a crucial role for Luciano Spalletti’s side. And while Napoli are forced to rotate or risk their players by using them every three days, Inter Milan have the luxury of a full week’s time to prepare for their Serie A matches. Nerazzurri take on Napoli with their confidence boosted by dramatic 3-2 Derby della Madonnina victory and will be expected to put in their best display at Napoli. Mauro Icardi is the man to watch for the visitors as the Argentine striker is in flying form. Inter Milan captain scored a hat-trick against Milan, taking his tally to nine goals after eight rounds of competition.
Joao Mario is hoping to recover in time for the match, but the trip to Naples comes too soon for Marcelo Brozovic who is yet to get back to full fitness following a muscle problem.
The upcoming clash against Napoli and Inter Milan could very likely define the Scudetto race early on in the campaign. It will be another great test for Napoli’s title credentials whether it should also be considered a great test for reemerging Italian giants Inter. A sizzling encounter is expected at Stadio San Paolo.
Top pick: Both teams to score 1.57 (4/7) @Bet365
Alternative pick 1: Mauro Icardi to score anytime 2.50 (6/4) @Ladbrokes
Alternative pick 2: Draw 4.00 (3/1) @Sportingbet