Napoli host Inter Milan on the penultimate match day of the season in Serie A, kicking off on Sunday at 8:30pm local time. The two teams go into this fixture occupying 2nd and 3rd place in the league, with the visitors still needing a bit of work to be done in order to reach the Champions League for next season.
Home Team: Napoli
It’s Déjà vu at Napoli again this season, which can not exactly be considered a bad thing. A new year, with a new manager, but Carlo Ancelotti hasn’t improved Napoli’s overall team performance, but has at least maintained it.
The club are the closest challengers to Juventus, but still quite a way off, they failed in the Champions’ League group stage, faltered again in the latter stages of the Europa League, and no domestic cups were obtained. Having said that, Napoli have confirmed their Champions League football quite easily once again this season, which will help them try and keep key players such as defender Kalidou Koulibaly at the club, as they could push on next season to be more competitive for major honours.
This will be Napoli’s last home game of the season, but they’ll want to improve on two recent home matches with Arsenal and Atalanta where they lost on both occasions.
Away Team: Inter Milan
Inter Milan have been holding onto 3rd place all season, but temporarily fell out of that position following the surge of Atalanta. However, Inter Milan managed to win their game in hand over Chievo on Monday night, which put them back into the top three with two games remaining. It’s a competitive race for the top four this season, with Atalanta, Roma, AC Milan and Torino all in with a chance of getting a Champions League spot.
At the moment, Inter Milan are overwhelming favourites to secure a top four spot, but if they were unable to win their final two matches, they could miss out. Antonio Conte is rumoured to be interested in the Inter Milan job next season, which has put current manager Luciano Spalletti under intensifying pressure. Can they get a win a huge win here?
Head to Head
The undercurrent theme of this head to head record is that neither team likes to score/concede against one another. Only two goals have been scored in the last four matches, and both teams haven’t scored in this fixture since a meeting back in 2015, which finished 2-1 to Napoli. In the last 10 meetings, Napoli have conjured up four wins, Inter Milan have won three times, and the other three have been all square, so there is not a lot between the sides.
Inter Milan managed to get an important victory when the sides met back during the Christmas period, with them winning 1-0 via a last minute Lauturo Martinez goal. Inter Milan don’t boast a good away record in this fixture, and have only won one game here since the turn of the millennium, and that was in Coppa Italia.
Predictions and Betting Tips
Napoli are slight favourites to get the win at 29/20, with Inter Milan at 7/4. For the sides to share the spoils, that is at 5/2. Looking at the history of this match, it would be wise to back a 0-0 draw at a generous 12/1. However, as it’s an end of season affair, I am going for a home win, with both teams scoring.
The last time that happened was in 2015, so for it to repeat, you can back 2-1 Napoli at 8/1. To increase odds further, I’d opt for adding Arkadiusz Milik to a score cast in a 2-1 score line at 28/1. If you believe the trend that this match will continue to disappoint, then you bet against both teams scoring at a kind 11/8 or choosing a team to keep a clean sheet, with Napoli at 13/5, or Inter at 3/1.
Finally, for the tipsters, if you believe that Inter Milan’s need for points will see them start strongly, you can back a player to score in the first 10 minutes at incredible odds, and my pick would be Mauro Icardi at 16/1.[geot country="US,CA" ]
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