Napoli vs. Inter 1/6/20 Italian Serie A Soccer Pick, Odds, and Prediction
1/6/20 2:45 pm
Over 2.5 (-138), Under 2.5 (+110)
Napoli is hosting Inter at Stadio San Paolo in a derby match of round 18 of the Italian Serie A.
Napoli still hasn’t recovered from their most recent slump and has won only 2 of their last 12 games. In the first round of the Champions League knockouts, Napoli will play against Barcelona, and their new coach Gattuso will have to do everything possible to get Napoli in a better form. In the Serie A, Napoli is in 8th place with only 24 points from 17 games. The defense has been their biggest problem since the season started, but most recently their attack wasn’t clicking either. In their last Serie A match before Christmas break, Napoli played against Sassuolo away from home. In that game, Napoli had 42% of ball possession, 8 shots on goal, 11 corner kicks, and 83% of the correct passes. It wasn’t a particularly good game for Napoli, especially the first half when Napoli was losing 1-0. The second half was better, and Napoli was able to tie the game in 57th minute and to win a game by Sassuolo’s own goal in 94th minute. Napoli has scored 27 goals in Serie A so far and 6 of those were scored by Milik. Insigne and Callejon both added 4 assists. Malcuit and Koulibaly are both injured, while Ruiz is still questionable. At the beginning of the season, Napoli’s expectations were super big, and they were expecting to fight for the title, but those expectations went down the drain fast. This season’s Napoli is not even a shadow of a Napoli from last year and the only thing they can do now is to fight for a spot that leads into Champions League next season.
Inter is playing great soccer this season, of course, there are some ups and downs, but Inter is still at the top of Serie A with 42 points, the same amount as Juventus in the second place. Inter has scored 36 goals so far which makes them the second-best attacking team in Serie A. Defensively, Inter was fantastic so far with only 14 conceded goals and they are the best defensive team in Italy. In their last Serie A game against Genoa at home, Inter was fantastic with 49% of ball possession, 9 shots on goal, 6 corner kicks, and 84% of accurate passes. Inter has won this match 4-0. Lukaku was Inter’s best player and leading goal scorer with 12 goals so far, while Martinez added 8 goals. Sanchez, Asamoah, and D’Ambrosio are injured and will not be in the lineup. Inter is playing attractive soccer, with the strong midfield, compact defense, and explosive attack, and coach Conte is doing a fantastic job with this team, except for a slip up against Barcelona in the Champions League which cost Inter the spot in the Top 16. Instead of Champions League, Inter is now playing in the Europa League, a competition that is a bit easier. Inter is now one of the top favorites to win the Europa League, and because this competition is not as demanding as the Champions League is, Inter won’t be as tired for their Serie A games. Overall, Inter has a really good team, and there are rumors that they are planning on buying Vidal from Barcelona which would certainly give them more depth and experience in their midfield. In my opinion, Inter is playing the best soccer in Serie A this season, and Juventus will have to play a lot better if they want to defend the title, but I am cheering for Inter.
In this game, I will go with my gut, and that will be Inter who are playing better soccer both offensively and defensively and are catching Napoli in a bad form. Of course, there is no way to know how will this Christmas break effect either of the teams, but I will side with Inter anyway.