25th of December 2018 Author: Johnny Karp
Italian football fans will enjoy a cracking match on Boxing Day as third-placed Inter will be trying to redeem themselves with a win over second-placed Napoli at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. Last season both matches between these two teams ended goalless, and two seasons ago Napoli won 3-0 at home and 1-0 away. In fact, the last time Inter managed to score against Napoli was in 2016, when they secured a 2-0 victory at home. Overall, the record of the last six direct matches shows a perfect balance, with two victories apiece and two draws.
Inter had a great start to the season and it seemed the Nerazzurri were finally ready for a good European campaign along with a probable title challenge in Serie A. Those two dreams were pretty much shattered in November and December, they won just two of their last nine matches in all competitions and finished third in their Champions League group behind Barcelona and Tottenham. Last week they were unable to get more than a 1-1 draw at Chievo as they conceded the equalizer in stoppage time. Miranda is the only injury concern for the home side, while Radja Nainggolan won't play because he was suspended by the club for disciplinary reasons.
Napoli seem in perfect control of their usual second place, but they don't seem capable of hoping to end the domination of Juventus in the Italian league. Napoli have won their last four Serie A matches to consolidate their place behind the Bianconeri, but they are eight points behind and Juventus don't look likely to lose too many points until the end of the season. Last weekend Napoli secured a 1-0 victory over Spal with a first-half goal from central defender Raul Albiol. Vlad Chiriches is the only name on the injured list for head coach Carlo Ancelotti.
Inter: Handanovic - Vrsaljko, Skriniar, De Vrij, Asamoah - Brozovic, Vecino - Politano, Mario, Perisic - Icardi
Napoli: Ospina - Maksimovic, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam - Callejon, Allan, Hamsik, Ruiz - Insigne - Mertens
My prediction: 1-1 draw, both teams will fight to avoid defeat in this match.
Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:
Inter win - 2.75
Draw - 3.30
Napoli win - 2.62
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The gaps in the top of the Seria A standings are quite huge, Inter would face Napoli who are 8 points behind the leaders Juventus and 8 in front of their tomorrows opponents so it won't be so vital really if Napoli loose that one cause it's quite ridiculous to even speak of a title race in Italy for yet another season.
I guess the win would be a lot more important for the home side who're "just 5 points" clear of the 4th placed Lazio.
That being said I think it would be a one goal difference win for the home side or a draw but if I have to predict a correct score it would be 2-2.
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