After their dreaded result against Cheivo Inter welcome visitors second place Napoli in a mid week matchup. The last time these two sides faced off was at the end of last season when both sides held out for a point each. But result wise overall out of their last six matches majority of the results were either a draw or a Napoli victory. Inter as usual during this time of year are struggling to pull off wins as their form drops substantially with finishing and creating scoring chances. Defense wise they allow simple errors give the opposition an opportunity to give them the room to have a potential chance at scoring and getting points of their own. Napoli on the other hand overall are doing a solid job as they were title contenders last season despite letting it slip from them late in the season. They are great at scoring chances and finishing them and doing what is needed to get the job done.
Inter as mentioned earlier are up to their old antics. The players are starting to either show wear and tear or they are getting to the place where they just don’t care and want the season to be over. This is seen in such players as Radja who showed up late to practice following a party he attended. Disciplinary action was taken resulting in him missing this crucial clash against Napoli and potential fines up to 100,000 euros. These are actions that can cause problems for the club going forward. Perisic in their last match found the back of the net and created scoring chances which was a breathe of fresh air as he’s been failing to get anything going this campaign. Vecino and Brozovic have also been struggling as they haven’t done much as of late to help the team such as creating chances and assisting. Brozovic is normally a player who is consistent but hasn’t shown it in sometime. Defense wise still the more consistent side despite a few slip ups which have lead to the opposition scoring. The one move though this is more of a tactical thing is moving D’ Ambrosio back to the left back position where in my opinion is the side he’s stronger on. On the injured and suspension list is Dalbert who is still out with injury and of course Radja being suspended due to his off pitch actions. The key player will be Politano who despite having limited scoring chances and goals he is good at assisting other players chances and controlling the ball and passing the ball where it needs to go and he has provided the midfield some much needed depth and maybe one of the loan signers officially signed to the club at the end of the year.
Second place Napoli are one of the strongest teams right behind first place Juventus. Out with injury on Napoli is center back is Vlad Chiriches with a cruciate ligament rupture and won’t return until next March. Insigne has seven goals for the season and is one of those players that is good at reading the pitch and creating chances along with assisting others in theirs. Offensive wise they are a strong side in way of chance creation and they do a great job at finishing them as well. Defense they’re more solid than Inter as they do a better job of keeping the pressure on their opponents and not giving them the chance to breathe not for just a portion of the match but throughout all of it. They also do a great job isolating stronger players and holding them at bay. The key player on Napoli is Insigne as he is a strong player as mentioned great at taking scoring chances and finishing them and if Inter don’t contain him he could be their worst nightmare.
The bottom line
Bottom line is that Inter will have their work cut out for them. They will need to keep Napoli’s chances limited and prevent them from finishing them. They will need to cover the whole pitch as Napoli like using the whole thing to their advantage. They also do a great job coming back from losing positions and protecting the lead once they get one. Inter can use the fact that Napoli have a hard time preventing themselves from being offside which they can use to their advantage. They also struggle winning the ball in the air which is another weakness they can utilize. Inter will need to work on finishing their scoring chances and holding Napoli at a stand still. The result in this match based on everything that’s been going on I see a Napoli win.
Inter projected lineup 4-2-3-1
Def Asomah, Devrij, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio
Def Mid Brozovic and Vecino
Att mid Perisic, Balde, Politano
Manager: Luciano Spalletti
Napoli Projected 4-3-3
Def Luperto, Koulibaly, Malcuit, Ghoulam
Def mid Hamsik, Ruiz, Diawara
Att mid Verdi, Insigne, Mertens
Players to keep your eyes on
Stadium San Siro
Place Milan Italy
Date December 26th
Time 1:30pm USA 7:30pm UK 8:30 pm Italy