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Napoli logo
Serie A | Gameweek 14
Dec 3, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Stadio Diego Armando Maradona
Inter logo
0 - 3
Inter Milan

Elmas (58'), Rrahmani (73')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Calhanoglu (44'), Barella (61'), Thuram (85')
Darmian (78'), Thuram (85')

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

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

Amid a tough run of fixtures for both clubs, Napoli and Inter Milan convene at Stadio Maradona on Sunday evening, when they will kick off separated by eight points in the Serie A standings.

Inter kept a grip on top spot by drawing with Juventus in last week's Derby d'Italia, before fighting back to hold Benfica in the Champions League; their hosts won the first match of Walter Mazzarri's second spell in charge, but then lost to Real Madrid.

Match preview

Napoli's Giovanni Simeone celebrates scoring their first goal on November 29, 2023© Reuters

Last week, a 2-1 victory away to Atalanta BC kicked off the new Walter Mazzarri era in style, as Napoli kept themselves within range of Serie A's serious Scudetto contenders thanks to a late winner from Eljif Elmas.

Briefly - and unsuccessfully - Inter manager after leaving Naples back in 2013, Mazzarri recently returned to Campania as Rudi Garcia's replacement, and following his initial impact, the Partenopei reduced their deficit to the table-topping Nerazzurri down to eight points.

Hoping to ride the crest of a wave, the Italian champions returned to continental competition in midweek, as Group C's top two met in a Champions League cracker.

Another familiar face, ex-Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti, led his current club to a 4-2 win at the Bernabeu on Wednesday evening, as Real Madrid cemented first place with a couple of late goals, after Giovanni Simeone and Frank Anguissa had both scored for the visitors.

Although second spot is not yet wrapped up, Mazzarri's men remain hot favourites to join Real in the last 16, and at the very least Napoli have secured their fifth successive progression through a UEFA competition group phase.

Of course, last year's quarter-finalists would prefer to continue in Europe's top tournament rather than slip into the Europa League, but before meeting Braga for their Group C finale, they must first tackle Inter and then old foes Juventus.

As Napoli have lost just one of 17 Serie A home matches against Inter this century, history is certainly on their side this weekend, when victory would see them further close the gap to their visitors in the standings.

Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi reacts on November 29, 2023© Reuters

Having found the net in each of their last 10 league fixtures against Napoli, Inter have also won five of the teams' last eight top-flight meetings; however, most of those successes came on Milanese soil.

The Nerazzurri were beaten 3-1 on their last visit to Stadio Maradona back in May, when Napoli were beginning their elongated victory parade as Scudetto winners, but both sides' fortunes have changed since that day.

While Sunday's hosts have faltered in their defence of the title, Inter's grim draw away to bitter rivals Juventus last week saw their unbeaten run - a streak featuring eight wins - reach its 10th game, although Juve seized the summit with Friday's late win over Monza.

Following a six-goal thriller against Benfica, in which Simone Inzaghi's side battled back impressively from three goals down at half time, Inter's only loss after 17 matches in all competitions remains a shock defeat to Sassuolo in late September.

Last term's beaten finalists had already confirmed their presence in the Champions League's last 16, but after a tough test in Lisbon, Inzaghi's men now complete a tricky trilogy by travelling down south to Naples.

While Inter have won nine of their last 11 Serie A away matches, scoring at a rate of 2.4 goals per game, their modest record at Stadio Maradona suggests such supremacy may be more difficult to maintain this weekend.

Napoli Serie A form:

Napoli form (all competitions):

Inter Milan Serie A form:

Inter Milan form (all competitions):

Team News

Napoli's Piotr Zielinski walks off the pitch after been substituted and sustaining an injury on November 29, 2023© Reuters

After Piotr Zielinski limped off in Madrid on Wednesday night, Napoli may be forced to make a change in midfield, so last week's matchwinner Eljif Elmas is on standby to start instead.

Mathias Olivera (knee) has joined fellow left-back Mario Rui (adductor) on the sidelines due to injury, and with no other specialist in the squad, Walter Mazzarri could call upon ex-Inter centre-back Juan Jesus to fill in.

Sure to start up front following his return to full fitness - replacing Giovanni Simeone - Victor Osimhen (32) joins Inter captain Lautaro Martinez (34) in having racked up more Serie A strikes than anyone else since the start of last season. Across Europe's top five leagues, only Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe stand ahead of them.

Current leader of the Capocannoniere rankings, which Osimhen topped last term, Martinez has 27 league goals to his name in 2023: only two Inter players have scored more in a calendar year during the 21st century: Diego Milito (28 in 2012) and Christian Vieri (28 in 2001).

While they are well stocked in attack, with Marcus Thuram and midweek goalscorers Marko Arnautovic and Alexis Sanchez also available, the visitors have two defensive absentees to contend with.

Benjamin Pavard (knee) and Alessandro Bastoni (calf) are still out of action, so Simone Inzaghi should stick with a back three helmed by Stefan de Vrij, who had for a long time been out of favour.

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Natan, Jesus; Anguissa, Lobotka, Elmas; Politano, Osimhen, Kvaratskhelia

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Darmian, De Vrij, Acerbi; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez

SM words green background

We say: Napoli 2-2 Inter Milan

Napoli and Inter have taken more shots, had more touches in the opposition area, and scored more goals (26 vs 30) than any other clubs in Serie A this season. Surely, then, a lifeless stalemate will not play out in front of the Neapolitan faithful: expect entertainment.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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Tables header RHS
1Inter Milan26223167125569
3AC Milan27175551321956
6Atalanta BCAtalanta27144949301946
17Hellas VeronaHellas Verona2758142436-1223

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