MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 08:46:10| >> :120:4170:4170:
Dec 16, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at San Siro
Inter MilanInter Milan
1-0
NapoliNapoli
Lukaku (73' pen.)
Brozovic (57'), Lukaku (80'), Skriniar (85'), D'Ambrosio (88'), Handanovic (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Bakayoko (59'), Ospina (71'), Lozano (75')
Insigne (71')

Preview: Inter Milan vs. Napoli - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Napoli, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Scudetto-chasing Inter Milan host potential title rivals Napoli this Wednesday in a mouthwatering midweek clash at San Siro.

Antonio Conte's side calamitously crashed out of Europe last week - while Napoli progressed in the Europa League - but now have their eyes fixed on further closing the gap to AC Milan at the top of the Serie A table following four wins on the spin.


Match preview

Christian Eriksen warms up for Inter on December 9, 2020© Reuters

Inter quickly bounced back from their Champions League exit - the third year in a row in which they have gone out of Europe's elite competition before the knockout phase - to return to winning ways at the weekend.

The Nerazzurri demonstrated great character to pull off a dramatic comeback, ultimately defeating Cagliari 3-1 - with a sweet Nicolo Barella volley against his hometown club, followed by a powerful close-range header from substitute Danilo D'Ambrosio and Romelu Lukaku's late breakaway goal sealing the deal in Sardinia.

After that three-goal haul, Inter remain top scorers in the Italian top flight - with 29 from 11 games so far - and they are now unbeaten in seven Serie A games.

Their last league defeat came on October 17 in the Milan derby and subsequent results have lifted them to second place in the standings, onto the shoulder of their groundsharing foes.

Underused and feeling unappreciated by his coach Antonio Conte, Christian Eriksen was afforded a rare start at the Sardegna Arena - though in central midfield rather than his favoured role behind the strikers and was subsequently removed from the action after enduring an hour of Conte barking at him to hold his deeper position.

It therefore appears unlikely that the Danish playmaker will earn another start with an even sterner test to come from Gennaro Gattuso's Napoli on Wednesday.

Inter won both league games against the Partenopei last season and the Neapolitan side have not found the net in their last three away games against the Nerazzurri in Serie A, so recent precedent is a cause for confidence in Conte's camp.

Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Former Milan midfielder Gattuso recently named Inter as his favourites for the title, perhaps beginning mind games early ahead of this crucial confrontation at his old stomping ground, San Siro.

His second-half substitutes, Hirving Lozano - who scored one goal and made another - and Andrea Petagna were the architects of Sunday's come-from-behind win over Sampdoria.

It was a deserved victory for an utterly dominant Napoli side, which racked up 18 attempts at goal and had two-thirds of possession at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, and came just days after a home draw with Real Sociedad saw them through in Europe.

Mexican flyer Lozano registered his sixth goal of the season last time out and has now come into form after a relatively indifferent start to the campaign. The former PSV forward, also known as 'Chucky', has menaced defences at home and abroad in recent weeks and is one of several goal threats set to keep Inter's improving back line on its toes.

In Serie A, Napoli are the team with the most different scorers so far, with 10 separate contributors to their impressive 26-goal total.

All of which bodes well for an outfit intent on mounting a sustained title challenge in the spring, as after this testing fixture against the Nerazzurri, a trip to Lazio is still to be faced before the winter break. Then, with Europa League commitments on the back burner in January, a series of games against the league's lesser lights are in store.

Now though - following three successive Serie A wins to Inter's four - something must give when two serious Scudetto contenders go head-to-head at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.

Inter Milan Serie A form: DDWWWW
Inter Milan form (all competitions): LWWWDW

Napoli Serie A form: LWLWWW
Napoli form (all competitions): WWDWDW


Team News

Lautaro Martinez celebrates scoring for Inter on November 22, 2020© Reuters

Inter's Achraf Hakimi will be assessed before kickoff due to an ankle injury which forced the former Real Madrid man off against Cagliari, so Matteo Darmian stands ready to deputise at wing-back. Meanwhile, Lautaro Martinez should start ahead of Alexis Sanchez, who has a minor injury.

As Arturo Vidal's participation is also in doubt and Christian Eriksen only earned the reproach of Antonio Conte for his weekend performance, it is likely that Roberto Gagliardini will start in the three-man engine room. Fellow midfielders Matias Vecino and Radja Nainggolan are both still out.

Napoli have confirmed that Victor Osimhen is still training separately from the Napoli squad and is set to miss out in Milan. The Nigeria forward has been out of action since dislocating his shoulder on international duty last month, so Dries Mertens will start ahead of consistently effective substitute striker Andrea Petagna up front.

Gennaro Gattuso has an otherwise fully fit squad available for the trip North, so must decide whether to recall Tiemoue Bakayoko to midfield and choose between rotating goalkeepers David Ospina and Alex Meret.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Barella, Young; Lukaku, Martinez

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Bakayoko, Ruiz; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens


SM words green background

We say: Inter Milan 2-1 Napoli

Inter's irrepressible attack just cannot be repelled - unless you happen to be Shakhtar Donetsk - while high-flying Napoli have also scored for fun this season.

Goals seem to be guaranteed then, but Inter's marginally greater big-game nous can help them claim a valuable three point haul against one of their direct rivals for Serie A supremacy.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen on August 10, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States25292276
JapanJapan2071239
AustraliaAustralia1541635
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atalanta BCAtalanta00000000
2Bologna00000000
3CagliariCagliari00000000
4Empoli00000000
5Fiorentina00000000
6Genoa00000000
7Hellas VeronaHellas Verona00000000
8Inter Milan00000000
9Juventus00000000
10Lazio00000000
11AC Milan00000000
12Napoli00000000
13Roma00000000
14Salernitana00000000
15Sampdoria00000000
16SassuoloSassuolo00000000
17SpeziaSpezia00000000
18Torino00000000
19Udinese00000000
20VeneziaVenezia00000000

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