We could be in for some belated new year fireworks as Napoli host Inter Milan at the Stadio San Paolo on Monday evening. While the home team have been struggling so far this term, the visitors are riding high at the top of the Serie A table as we approach the midway point of the season.
Where and when: Stadio San Paolo – 6 January, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Napoli vs. Inter: Premier Sports
Last time: Piotr Zielinski and Dries Mertens put Napoli two goals up before a Fabain Ruiz brace secured the points, as Mauro Icardi’s late penalty proved a mere consolation in Napoli’s 4-1 victory over Inter in their penultimate game of last season.
Napoli v Inter Predictions and Preview
Napoli’s resounding win the last time these clubs met, plus their excellent record against Inter, should give the hosts some hope that their fortunes could be about to change at the dawning of a new decade.
The Gli Azzurri have only lost three of their last 17 Serie A fixtures against Inter, and six of their last eight on home soil, losing none. Inter haven’t tasted victory at the Stadio San Paolo in the league since 1997, when the Nerazzurri had the likes of Ronaldo, Diego Simeone and Youri Djorkaeff in their ranks.
The Milanese club finished second that season, but Antonio Conte is hoping to take his players one better this time round. They may have drawn drawn two of their last three fixtures of 2019, against Fiorentina and Roma, but the impact of that was negated by title rivals Juventus’s defeat to Lazio in early December.
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Lautaro Martinez to score first
Napoli to win 4-1
Inter to win and BTTS
Inter only lead the standings on goal difference at the moment, but the away team have been on a different level to their hosts on Monday this term. With Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez firing in the goals, the Nerazzurri are 44/25 to break their duck in Naples. The away team have fitness concerns over Alexis Sanchez and Nicolo Barella, while Kwadwo Asamoah misses out.
The hosts meanwhile have a clean bill of health, as they look to build on their 2-1 victory away to Sassuolo just before the winter break. This is far from the ideal fixture to return to after the festive period, but it does give Gennaro Gattuso the opportunity to record a big win in only his third game in charge of Napoli.
The Gli Azzurri head coach would no doubt love to do just that against the bitter rivals of his former club Milan, but getting points on the board and lifting his new team is much more important here. Napoli are 8/5 to do that by claiming the victory on Monday, making them the slight favourites, while you can back the draw at 13/5.
One to watch for Napoli: With his contract entering its final six months, Dries Mertens has been linked with a move away from the club he’s represented with distinction since 2013. If he is indeed going to move on, the 32-year-old Belgian will be keen to go out with a bang, and is 6/1 to break the deadlock here.
One to watch for Inter: Romelu Lukaku may be trailing Ciro Immobile by five goals, but he’s still second in the Serie A top scorer standings. The former Manchester United striker bagged two against Genoa in Inter’s final fixture of 2019, but needs to prove himself in the big games. He’s the 19/4 favourite to open the scoring.
Long shot: Napoli may be having a season to forget in Serie A, but they secured their progression to the knockout rounds of the Champions League with a 4-0 victory over Genk in Carlo Ancelotti’s final game in charge. The Gli Azzurri also put four past Inter the last time these clubs met, with Napoli available at 45/1 for another 4-1 win here.