Inter vs Napoli: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

One of the most highly anticipated fixtures on the Serie A calendar pits top-four hopefuls Inter and pacesetters Napoli against each other at Giuseppe Meazza on Wednesday.

There’s no better way to get the 2023 Serie A action underway than a mouth-watering contest between the two Italian heavyweights in their first league outing after the World Cup.

Inter headed into the mid-season break on the back of an enthralling 3-2 victory at fellow top-four contenders Atalanta, making it two league wins in a row following an underwhelming derby loss at Juventus.

Simone Inzaghi will welcome marquee striker Romelu Lukaku back to the fold after a long-term injury. But the Nerazzurri were unfazed by the Belgian’s absence, netting nine goals in their last two Serie A outings.

However, Lukaku couldn’t have timed his recovery any better, as the hosts will need all help they can get against runaway leaders Napoli, who are on course to break an exhausting 30-year wait for the Scudetto. 

Luciano Spalletti’s men were running riot before the World Cup hiatus, racking up an eye-catching 13 wins from their opening 15 top-flight fixtures this season (D2). 

But if they’re to see out this ferocious Scudetto race, the Partenopei would be well advised to avoid getting complacent, which appeared problematic during their indifferent mid-season contests (W2, L2). 



Meazza has been nothing short of a fortress this season, with Inter clocking up six wins from their seven Serie A home matches to date (L1), including three on the trot since a 2-1 defeat to Roma in October.

All competitions included, Inzaghi’s men have won their last five home games, four of which via multi-goal margins, including a jaw-dropping 6-1 demolition of Bologna last time out.

If that’s not enough to make confidence course through their veins, the Nerazzurri have been victorious in each of their last four top-flight encounters against Napoli on home turf. 


Alongside perennial Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli were the only side in Europe’s top-five leagues to have avoided defeat in each domestic contest before the World Cup.

Spalletti can only hope a lengthy break did not hamper his team’s momentum, as the Partenopei head into proceedings having won their last 11 league games on the spin. 

With Napoli, it’s been all about scoring this season. They have tallied a staggering 37 goals in the opening 15 Serie A rounds, at least three more than any other side. 

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Spalletti was lucky many of his key first-team figures, including deadly attacking duo Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen, skipped the World Cup. 

While the Nigerian frontman sits atop the Serie A scoring leaderboard with nine goals, the Georgian winger has split his goal contribution between six strikes and five assists, growing into one of the most sought-after players.

It’s not like Inzaghi cannot rely on frightening firepower of his own, with Edin Dzeko chipping in with six goals and two assists this season. 

While his favorite companion Lautaro Martinez may not start due to his World Cup exploits with Argentina, having Lukaku as a partner isn’t a bad deal. 

Since neither manager has a significant injury headache on their plate, it’s a near-certainty that Inter and Napoli will come at each other at full bore. 

Inter vs Napoli Potential Line-ups

Inter (3-5-2): Andre Onana; Alessandro Bastoni, Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skriniar; Federico Dimarco, Hakan Calhanoglu, Nicolo Barella, Roberto Gagliardini, Denzel Dumfries; Romelu Lukaku, Edin Dzeko.

Napoli (4-3-3): Alex Meret; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Kim Min-jae, Juan Jesus, Mario Rui; Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka, Piotr Zielinski; Matteo Politano, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Victor Osimhen. 

Inter vs Napoli Prediction 

Since the two most prolific Serie A sides will face other, you’d be forgiven for expecting an action-packed, high-scoring contest to be the order of the day.

But that may not necessarily be the narrative, based on the importance of this mammoth showdown. Anything other than victory would likely rule Inter out of the Scudetto race for good.

Meanwhile, Napoli would like to avoid losing at all costs, with current runners-up Milan eight points behind and having a winnable trip to Salernitana on their hands. 

So it’s more likely that we’ll have a combative, cagey affair in store, with a draw emerging as the most plausible outcome.

Prediction: Draw

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