Serie A: Inter ‘s Ticket to the Champions League

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Napoli vs Inter Milan

The Stadio San Paolo in Naples is the place to be this weekend for the Serie A game of the weekend, as second meets third, Napoli against Inter Milan.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli has already qualified for the Champions League, but pride won’t allow them to let the 13 point gap to Scudetto winners Juve stretch any further. Meanwhile Inter can confirm its own Champions League ticket with a win in Naples. And after spending most of the league season in the top four, it would be a disaster for Luciano Spalletti’s side to fall at the final hurdle.

Inter has another chance to win next week, but won’t want to leave their fans fretting until the last day when nerves will be completely shredded. So they need this win.

The best action for us Serie A fans will be centred around the top four and the bottom three from hereon, and Napoli vs Inter is right up there as Sunday’s big match.

Talking Points

Napoli’s creative duo to return?

Polish striker Arek Milik has had a superb season under Ancelotti, top scoring for Gli Azzurri with 17 goals. But the hosts have no shortage of attacking threat, with midfielders Jose Callejon and Piotr Zielinski both enjoying good seasons.

But the main men weren’t involved in last week’s 1-2 win against SPAL and they could be set to return, to give Inter’s defence even more to think about. Lorenzo Insigne has scored ten goals and made six in another productive campaign which has seen him linked with Champions League finalists Liverpool.

Napoli have been in excellent form with four victories out of five in Serie A

Dries Mertens celebrates scoring their first goal against Frosinone

And Belgian wide man Dries Mertens has been even more prolific, scoring 14 and making nine assists so far. If either or both are in the starting line-up, the hosts will have an important edge.

Inter needs one more win

With just four points separating Inter, in third place, from Roma in sixth, Spalletti’s team still has work to do to hold on to its top four position.

Fifth placed AC Milan has a home game against Frosinone and then a final day fixture away to SPAL; two very winnable matches. Meanwhile Roma is away to Sassuolo and then at home to Parma and could easily pick up two victories as well.

With fourth placed Atalanta on a superb run of four consecutive victories I’d say Inter needs a win to be sure. Next week Spalletti’s team entertains Empoli, currently in the bottom three but fighting for its Serie A life, winning the last two games; so that is in no way a foregone conclusion.

There is no doubting the visitors’ defensive capabilities, but their flair players need to stand up in Naples. Radja Nainngolan scored a spectacular opener in the recent draw with Juventus and he can be guaranteed to battle to the end.

Mauro Icardi dominated the Serie A 2019 news at the turn of the year, but not in a way Inter fans wanted, as his protracted contract negotiations saw him sidelined. But he’s back in the fold and top scoring with ten goals, while World Cup finalist Ivan Perisic has eight.

Inter’s only injury is Dutch defender Stefan De Vrij.

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History

Inter hasn’t been able to pull away from the chasing pack, largely due to picking up just two wins from the last six games. The other four were all drawn, three against Atalanta, Juventus and Roma; so this has been one tough run in for Spalletti’s team.

The pressure on Inter eased a little with a 2-0 victory over Chievo on Monday which has extended their unbeaten run to seven.

Only Juventus has conceded fewer goals than Inter’s 28.

While the head to heads are marginally in the visitors’ favour, Inter has won 16 to Napoli’s 14, with nine drawn since 1993; they have never had a league win at this stadium and Napoli’s home record reads 12 wins, four draws and two defeats.

So what do the Napoli vs Inter Milan betting odds tell us?

Betting Tip

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Napoli vs Inter Milan Under 2.75 @ 1.97
May 20, 02:30 (GMT+8)

The odds suggest we’re in for a hared fought game with Napoli at 2.48, Inter at 2.91 and the draw at 3.10.

There will be plenty of attacking players on show at the Stadio San Paulo, but Inter’s defence will be well marshalled as always, while their front line hasn’t been prolific. Napoli doesn’t need a result, but will play with intent.

The last three meetings produced just a single goal, and while it’s unusual for both teams to score in this fixture, 1-1 is the most likely result at 6.20, and, like it or not, that will extend Inter’s season for another week.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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