Napoli takes on Inter Milan, the current Serie A champions, in arguably one of the most important matches of the season. Here are the expected lineups for the two Italian teams, and what to expect from the two managers.
Napoli could distance themselves at the top
In spite of losing manager Antonio Conte and striker Romelu Lukaku at the end of last season, Inter is still viewed as one of the top contenders for the Serie A title. The is still adjusting to the new manager, Simone Inzaghi. So far, Inter has performed relatively well, finding a solid goal threat in veteran striker Edin Dzeko. The team sits in third place, seven points behind Napoli.
Meanwhile, Napoli has started the season in superb fashion. Under manager Luciano Spaletti, the Partenopei had one of the strongest starts to the season in the club’s history. Smart tactical tweaks that have got the very best out of Fabian Ruiz and Victor Osimhen, as well as the addition of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, have brought Napoli to the top of the table, level on points with AC Milan.
Napoli to field their best line-up
Spalletti is in the fortunate position of being able to field, arguably, his strongest starting line-up. Kalidou Koulibaly will return from suspension and is expected to start in the center of the defense alongside Amir Rrahmani. Ruiz and Anguissa will play as the double midfield pivot, with Piotr Zielinski activating behind the lone striker, Nigerian goal-machine Victor Osimhen.
The team’s main sources of creativity will come from the wins. Former Inter player, Matteo Politano will play as a winger, while captain Lorenzo Insigne will tuck in as an inside forward. Update: Napoli has officially announced that Matteo Politano has tested positive for Covid and will miss the clash against Inter. It is expected that either Dries Mertens or Hirving Lozano will replace him in the starting line-up.
Meanwhile, Inzaghi is likely to stick to his preferred formation, the 3-5-2 which he also employed throughout his tenure at Lazio. Joaquin Correa will probably replace the recently injured Edin Dzeko, while Andrea Ranocchia will act as the replacement for Stefan de Vrij.
Napoli (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui; Anguissa, Ruiz; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Osimhen
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, Ranocchia, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Dzeko, Martinez
Inter vs. Napoli is played tonight, at 18.00 (GMT+1) at the San Siro Stadium.