With two match days left, it’s crunch time in the battle for second place. Inter Milan has a one point advantage on Atalanta and Lazio, but Antonio Conte’s side has by far the toughest run-in. The Nerazzurri meet La Dea on Sunday, but first host Napoli Tuesday.
Currently in seventh, Gennaro Gattuso and Co. have nothing left to play for after clinching Europa League qualification thanks to the Coppa Italia. Still, the Partenopei is in quite excellent form, losing just two of its last ten. Most recently, Napoli beat Sassuolo 2-0 thanks to four (!) Neroverdi goals being ruled offside. The backline, led by Kalidou Koulibaly and Kostas Manolas, may be a very important part of Napoli’s game, but there is no shortage of fire power in the final third. Arkadiusz Milik has 11 goals, Lorenzo Insigne has 7 goals and 6 assists, while Jose Callejon has 4 and 7 of each. Quite the front three, eh?
Inter, meanwhile, has been stuttering of late but still comfortably beat Genoa in the last round. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sánchez have been Inter’s focal points, with 7 goals and 7 assists in the last ten matches combined. More from the supporting cast of Christian Eriksen and Lautaro Martínez is going to be important in getting results against top teams, like Napoli. In those ten games, Inter has been up and down, with a mixture of draws and wins. How the Nerazzurri perform in it’s next two matches will go a long way in determining Inter’s chances of Europa League glory.
Predicted Starting XIs
- For the first time since February 16th, Roberto Gagliardini will not be in Inter’s starting eleven. For better or worse, he’s out with yellow card accumulation. In his place comes Nicolo Barella.
- Inter can’t afford someone in such bad form as Lautaro is against a team of Napoli’s quality, so Sánchez deserves the starting nod.
- Dries Mertens, Napoli’s all time leading scorer, is suspended but Milik is a fully capable replacement.
Prediction: Inter Milan 1-1 Napoli
Napoli always seem to provide a tough test to Inter, and this time seems no different. The scoreline will mimic that of the Coppa Italia Semi Final second leg, with Lorenzo Insigne giving Napoli the lead before Alexis Sánchez brings Inter level.