Inter vs Napoli Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 13

The Diego Armando Maradona Stadium takes center stage on Sunday as Napoli and Inter go head-to-head in a mammoth Serie A fixture. It’s time to preview the game and take a look at the expected lineups.

Inter go into this matchday trailing the leading duo, Milan and Napoli, by seven points after being held to a 1-1 derby draw to the Rossoneri on the eve of the international break. However, the Nerazzurri will take confidence from going unbeaten in their last four Serie A matches since a 3-1 away loss to Lazio in mid-October.

Meanwhile, this could be a golden opportunity for Napoli to go alone at the summit following Milan’s 4-3 defeat away to Fiorentina on Saturday evening. The Partenopei are now the only side in Europe’s top-five divisions yet to lose a league match this season, having won ten of their opening 12 Serie A games. 

Inter vs Napoli Head-to-Head

Inter won this exact fixture last season by a narrow 1-0 scoreline, courtesy of Romelu Lukaku’s second-half penalty, before playing out a 1-1 draw in Naples back in April. Those two encounters bode well with a low-scoring trend in their recent Serie A H2Hs, as seven of the last nine have featured two goals or less.

The Nerazzurri have kept a clean sheet in four consecutive top-flight home meetings with Napoli since a 1-0 loss in April 2017, winning the last three in a row by an aggregate score of 4-0. Interestingly, three of Inter’s four goals scored in that three-match sequence arrived beyond the 70th minute. 

Napoli face the risk of drawing a blank in five consecutive Serie A visits to the Giuseppe Meazza for the first time in the club’s history. The Partenopei have only won twice in their 15 top-flight matches at this venue in the 21st century, suggesting they may not find this trip welcoming. 

Inter Form Preview

Inter will be disappointed that they’ve returned just eight points from their last five Serie A outings (W2, D2, L1) since they took the lead each time in that run of fixtures. What’s more, the Nerazzurri have failed to win any of their four league matches against last season’s top-seven sides so far this term (D3, L1). 

Delivering action from the onset, Simone Inzaghi’s men have opened the scoring in a league-high nine (75%) of their 12 Serie A games this season. Yet to lose a league match at home under the new manager (W3, D2), the reigning Italian champions have drawn first blood in all five such contests to date.  

But, Inzaghi himself is facing a formidable opposition here as he’s lost 70% of his league encounters against Napoli as a manager (7/10). Among clubs he’s faced at least twice in Italy’s top-flight, that’s his worst losing percentage. 

Napoli Form Preview

While Inter experienced several ups and downs this season, Luciano Spalletti’s men have gone from strength to strength since matchday one. A 1-1 home draw with Hellas Verona may have halted Napoli’s two-game winning run in Serie A, but a return of five wins from six league travels (D1) should strike fears into the hearts of Inter fans.

Taking the 2020/21 campaign into account, the Partenopei are unbeaten in their last 21 Serie A fixtures (W16, D5). They are five games away from equalling the club’s longest-ever unbeaten streak in the top-flight (26). Matching that run will require Napoli to maintain their eye-catching defensive form this term.

Despite forcing high press and an all-out-attack system, Spalletti has led Napoli to a whopping eight clean sheets in 12 Serie A matches this season. Indeed, the visitors have only let in four goals in Italy’s top-flight this term and remain the only side yet to concede double digits in the division.

Inter vs Napoli Predicted Lineups

Inter (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, Andrea Ranocchia, Alessandro Bastoni; Matteo Darmian, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ivan Perisic; Joaquin Correa, Lautaro Martinez.

Napoli (4-2-3-1): David Ospina; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahmani, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mario Rui, Andre-Franck Zambo Anguissa, Fabian Ruiz; Matteo Politano, Piotr Zielinski, Lorenzo Insigne; Victor Osimhen.