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Serie A: Showdown for Second Spot at San Siro


Serie A: Showdown for Second Spot at San Siro

Inter Milan vs Napoli

Second place in the Serie A table will be on the line as Inter Milan and Napoli collide at the San Siro for a huge midweek clash. Inter are currently in control of second spot, but Napoli are just a single point behind.

Both clubs will head into the match in fine form and will be eager to pick up all three points to keep pace with leaders AC Milan.

But the Serie A 2020 betting odds for this top-of-the-table matchup figure to be so tight, with the two teams looking so evenly matched at the moment.

Talking Points

Inter in sizzling Serie A form

Inter Milan bounced back from their shock Champions League exit by coming from behind to beat Cagliari 1-3 this weekend. Inter scored three goals in the last 23 minutes from Nicolo Barella, Danilo D’Ambrosio, and Romelu Lukaku to seal their fourth straight win in Serie A.

Inter’s Serie A 2020 results since suffering their lone loss of the season against rivals AC Milan in the derby have been quite impressive. They are now seven matches unbeaten, with five wins and two draws.

Inter have been scoring goals for fun this season. They are the league’s leading scorers with 29 goals and have scored three or more goals in each of their last four games.

Lukaku has once again been leading the charge for the Nerazzurri. The big Belgian has already scored nine goals — third in the league behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Antonio Conte has a relatively complete squad to choose from at the moment, with no significant injury concerns to speak of.

First-choice wing-backs Achraf Hakimi and Ashley Young only came on as substitutes against Cagliari, but both are expected to return to the first XI in the big match against Napoli. Meanwhile, Lautaro Martinez and Roberto Gagliardini are also likely to come in and replace Alexis Sanchez and Christian Eriksen, who both started on the weekend.

Lautaro has once again gone on a prolonged scoring drought; he hasn’t gotten a goal in his last six appearances. But he will like his chances of scoring against Napoli, against whom he’s scored three goals in four career meetings.

Napoli need big win in big game

Napoli are in the midst of their longest winning run of the Serie A season as they picked up their third straight win against Sampdoria. They went behind early, but second-half goals from substitutes Hirving Lozano and Andrea Petagna completely changed the game for Gennaro Gattuso’s side.

Napoli possess some impressive depth in the attacking positions this season, which is why they are the second-leading attack behind Inter with 26 goals. Lozano, in particular, is enjoying a breakout season in Naples, with six goals and two assists in 10 appearances.

Napoli were once again without record signing Victor Osimhen as the striker continues to recover from a shoulder injury. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to return in time for this crucial match against Inter.

If Osimhen does miss out once again, Gattuso is likely to start with Mertens as the main striker with Lorenzo Insigne, Lozano, and either Matteo Politano or Piotr Zielinski in support.

Gattuso has generally preferred to play with a 4-2-3-1 formation this season. But after back-to-back losses in big games against Sassuolo and Milan, he decided to go back to his trusted 4-3-3 against Roma, and they ran out 4-0 winners.

It won’t be too surprising if Gattuso does decide to go with a 4-3-3 to prevent getting overrun in midfield against Inter’s 3-5-2.

Aside from their losses against Sassuolo and Milan, Gattuso has generally gotten his defence on point this season. Napoli have conceded just 11 goals, three of which came when they lost 3-0 to Juventus by default.

History

Things have been quite competitive between Napoli and Inter over the past few years. Over their last 26 league meetings, Napoli hold the slight 10-9 edge in terms of wins, while there have been seven draws.

Although, Inter have had the upper hand recently in the league. Napoli have won just one of their last six meetings, while Inter have won three. Inter did the double over Napoli last season, with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez both scoring two goals against them.

However, Napoli did beat Inter over two legs in their Coppa Italia semi-final tie and went on to win the competition.

Betting Tip

1X2 Draw @ 3.35

SBOTOP odds have Inter as slight 2.14 favourites at home, Napoli are priced at 3.30 to pick up a crucial away win, while a draw is at 3.35.

It’s hard to pick a winner between these two clubs given how good both clubs have looked at the moment. And clearly, neither will want to suffer a defeat and lose valuable ground in the title race.

With all those factors in mind, I foresee quite a competitive matchup between these two title contenders that ultimately ends in a hard-fought draw.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 


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