Milan, Napoli and Inter are embroiled in a pulsating Serie A title race, as the ex-Nerazzurri striker Jean-Pierre Papin expects the Scudetto run-in to go down to the wire. The reigning Italian champions have regained control at the summit, courtesy of an overwhelming 5-0 win over rock-bottom Salernitana on Friday.
But with a single point separating Inter from Milan and Napoli, the Scudetto race could take another twist on Sunday when the latter two lock horns at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. All three sides have performed in patches this season, and it is hard to give any team the upper hand.
A series of ups and downs have seen the three Italian powerhouses alternate at the top of the Serie A table this season. Sunday’s encounter in Naples could change the complexity of the Scudetto run-in, but Papin expects the front-running trio to battle it out for the title until the final weekend of the season.
“These are the most difficult months for everyone,” he said as relayed by SempreInter. “The teams are now having to gut it out and go by their preparations.
“Inter and Napoli have also experienced a decline. From the end of the month onwards, all three will come back into it and fight until the end.“
Inter remain the leading candidates to win the Serie A crown for the second season running, last achieving that feat in 2009/10. Simone Inzaghi has replaced title-winning manager Antonio Conte with dignity, and the Nerazzurri will be hard to overcome in this enthralling race.
But Milan, who are aiming at their first Scudetto since 2010/11, have proved they are title material under Stefano Pioli this term. Yet, their title credentials will be on the line in Naples on Sunday.
Seeking their first top-flight triumph since 1989/90, Napoli face arguably their best chances of lifting a long-awaited Scudetto. Head coach Luciano Spalletti will have an extra motive to guide the Partenopei to the top, as he is also searching for his first Serie A trophy as a manager.
Regardless of the outcome, Papin has it right. This will be one of the most exciting title races in Italy this century.