Inter Milan vs Napoli. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more
Italian football finally returns to action after a long FIFA World Cup break. Straight away, the tour’s highlight awaits us: at the famous Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, local Inter of Simone Inzaghi will host Serie A leader, Luciano Spalletti Napoli.
Napoli is having a magnificent season and marching like a real machine. The Azzurri are unbeaten in 2022/2023 and sit at the top of the Serie A standings right now. Inter, on the other hand, cannot boast the same stability and is currently just outside the top four of the Italian championship, occupying fifth place.
What can we expect this Wednesday night? Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the match.
Inter Milan News & Current Form:
As mentioned above, Simone Inzaghi’s side have had a very patchy campaign so far. Before the break for the World Cup in Qatar, the Nerazzurri had dropped too many points to direct rivals such as Lazio (1-3), AC Milan (2-3) and AS Roma (1-2). However, they managed to head into the break in fine spirits, winning five of their last six Serie A games. The only setback during that stretch came from Juventus (0-2). In other matches, Inzaghi’s charges have defeated Salernitana (2-0), Fiorentina (4-3), Sampdoria (3-0), Bologna (6-1) and Atalanta (3-2).
Looking at the goals scored (34 – 2nd best in the league), being outside the UEFA Champions League zone looks very odd. However, what matters more is the balance between attack and defence – something the club has a problem with. The Nerazzurri concede too much: in 15 games, the Milano side conceded 22 goals, the most in the top ten. The situation with sluggish performances against teams from the upper third has resulted in the Nerazzurri currently trailing Serie A leader Napoli by 11 points, yet Inter’s head coach remains optimistic:
“I am confident that Inter will be back in the race for the Scudetto. There is no doubt about that. We are looking at the break for the World Cup as a fresh start. We have a chance to start the season with a clean slate. We weren’t good enough in the first part of the season, but we can correct the shortcomings and get back in contention for the title.”
However, the pause could well go to Nerazzurri’s detriment. It is very difficult to predict how successful the team will be in gaining momentum. Earlier in the season they struggled to get into a rhythm right from the beginning: the Snakes have suffered four defeats in their opening eight rounds.
“There are more unknowns than guarantees, such a long break has never ever happened,”says Inzaghi.
It is also worth noting that most of Inter’s players who went to the World Cup in Qatar had a bleak tournament.
Romelu Lukaku has become one of his team’s main anti-heroes. Lautaro Martinez failed to score in regulation time in his five games, although he had numerous chances. Stefan de Vrij and Joaquin Correa did not appear on the pitch once in the same period. In the same period André Onana scandalously left Qatar, and soon announced his retirement from the national team.
Only Denzel Dumfries and Marcelo Brozovic were impressive. The Dutchman produced a spectacular performance against the USA in the 1/8 final, assisting twice and scoring a goal. The Croatian, for his part, set a World Cup record for the distance covered in a single match in the 1/8 final against Japan. He ran a total of 16.7 km.
However, Brozovic was injured in the semi-final match against Argentina. The Croatian midfielder’s exact recovery time is unknown. Although Inter has good depth in their squad, the loss is quite tangible. It could play a key role in the upcoming match. It takes all the resources to claim points in a match against leading Napoli.
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Napoli News & Current Form:
Thanks to Luciano Spalletti’s expert coaching, the Parthenopeans have not suffered a single defeat in 15 rounds in the Italian championship. Moreover, during this period, they drew only twice — against Fiorentina 0-0 and Lecce 1-1 — at the start of the season. At the time, the Italian specialist was only just integrating the new recruits into his system.
For example, in the match against U.S. Lecce, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has become one of the season’s major discoveries, appeared on the pitch only in the 56th minute. During the next meetings, the Georgian attacking player was included into the starting line-up and played practically 90 minutes per game.
Scoring 6 goals and giving 7 assists in 11 matches, the 77th number immediately drew the attention of the scouts of all the best clubs in the world. And if we take into account other tournaments — UEFA Champions League and UEFA Nations League — in 23 games the player distinguished himself with a stunning 13 G + 13 A.
It should be noted that Neapolitans have bought the 21-year-old player from Dinamo Batumi for just €15 million. It is noteworthy that in less than a year the transfer value of the player has increased by as much as 4 times. As a result, a well-known publication even included Kvaratskhelia in the top 10 contenders for the Ballon d’Or.
Fortunately for the Little Donkeys, Khvicha made a full recovery following his back injury during the “improvised off-season”. Thus, all the Azzurri leaders are fit and ready for new achievements.
Speaking of leaders, the Georgian forward is supported by no less brilliant centre-forward Victor Osimhen, who is effective in every match. In 11 Serie A matches, the Nigerian has registered 9 G + 3 A. Together, the bromance tops the chart for most prolific players in the Italian league.
However, the aforementioned Osimhen and Kvaratskhelia are not the only Neapolitans on the rise at the moment. Piotr Zielinski, André-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Hirving Lozano, Giovanni Simeone and others have also found their form.
The Pole, the Cameroonian and the Mexican failed to succeed with their national teams at the World Cup in Qatar. However, their individual performances were eye-catching. If individually the players have managed to prove themselves, then collectively under Spalletti they have an excellent chance of beating Inter and continuing their stay at the top of the table.
The Parthenopeans are unmatched in terms of quality of teamwork and consistency in the current Serie A campaign. Spalletti has built a coherent mechanism that stamps victories by bringing out the best in the players’ individual qualities. We believe they will continue at the same momentum as before the international break.
Inter Milan form guide (all competitions): W-W-W-D-W-W
Napoli form guide (all competitions): W-L-W-W-W-W
Inter Milan vs Napoli Head-To-Head Record:
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Atalanta vs Inter Milan Predicted XI:
Inter Milan possible starting lineup (3-5-2): Onana; Skriniar, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Dzeko, Lukaku.
Napoli possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Meret; Di Lorenzo, Kim, Jesus, Rui; Anguissa, Lobotka, Zielinski; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia.
Statistical preview of the match Inter Milan vs Napoli:
- Inter’s first XI average age is 29.1 yrs.
- Napoli’s first XI average age is 26.8 yrs
- The Neapolitans have yet to lose a single game in Serie A this season.
- Milan have now lost 5 games this season, while in the last 2 championships they lost only 7 times altogether.
- Seven of the last ten official matches played by both teams have seen more than 2.5 goals.
- Inter have scored an average of 2.7 goals per game in the past ten meetings, Napoli — 2.6.
- Napoli have beaten all the top clubs in Italy this season by a one-goal margin.
- Inter are unbeaten in 9 of their last 10 meetings against Napoli on home soil.
- The last three encounters between the black-and-blue Milan team and the Azzurri have consistently seen goals from both sides.
- Last season, Napoli picked up just one point in the two encounters against Inter.
- Napoli have not scored more than one goal in six of their last seven games at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
What has been said before the match:
Luciano Spalletti, the Napoli gaffer:
“We’re ready to get started again. Our heads have never switched off. A very demanding but also exciting period lies ahead and it could well be fundamental and have an enduring impact on the players’ careers.”
“We aren’t heading into this game and the ones afterwards with any thoughts about our position in the table or any statistics linked to being unbeaten. We’re fully aware of what we’re capable of on the pitch. Our style of play is key because when you analyze tomorrow’s game and the journey that awaits us, what we’ve done so far isn’t enough and what really matters is what we do from tomorrow onwards.”
“Inter are a top European side. They’ve made serious investments in recent years and have a very strong squad. They know how to keep it tight and also how to use the pitch both in terms of width and getting in behind. They have [Romelu] Lukaku coming back as part of an already strong attack with [Edin] Dezko and Lautaro [Martinez] who I know well. They have real physicality and plenty of options in terms of their system, enabling them to change the game by altering their build-up play. We’ll have to strike the right balance to control the match. I think that’ll be key for us.”
“We’re heading into an exciting and thrilling part of our journey. You only become great by getting your approach right in the big games. We have to be stronger than all the rest, all the prejudice, scepticism and also the fear among those who love us. We know there’s a whole city behind us. We have to play for the pride and happiness of Naples.”
Simone Inzaghi, the Inter Milan gaffer:
“We can’t wait to get back started, we’re itching to play. The game here last season was very exciting that got us going. We realize we’re up against a really strong side, they are the only team in Europe unbeaten this season, but we’re highly motivated and determined.”
“There are still 23 games to play until the end of the season so there are loads of points to play for. Inter, like others, are in the pack to try and close the gap on the team that so far have shown to be the best in Europe. You can only congratulate Napoli on what they have done. The hope to get nearer to them will only come from the pitch; we are a tight-knit group with unbelievable fans and we all want to win every game.”
Atalanta vs Inter Milan Prediction:
The importance of three points in this match cannot be overstated. Napoli need them to consolidate their position in the standings even firmer while also boosting the confidence of their players. Inter, on the other hand, are keen to close the gap and finally re-engage in the Champions League zone race.
With this in mind, we can expect a close game in which each side will be afraid of making a mistake. However, it is far more likely to be entertaining and productive. Both Inter and Napoli are teams that are blatantly designed to attack, while their defensive performance raises questions. So here, it’s better to count on a high total of the goals scored with an inevitable goal exchange.
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Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: Both teams to score and the match total of the goals scored to be over 2.5 – Yes.