SERIE A: INTER AND NAPOLI PLAY CATCHUP

Inter vs Napoli               

Giuseppe Meazza  

Serie A | 19.10.2014 – 19:45   

Struggling Inter host a stuttering Napoli this Sunday evening at the Giuseppe Meazza. The hosts currently sit in 10th position, already a massive 10 points behind leaders Juventus only six matches into the season. Meanwhile, Napoli are only two points better off than the Milan side and are already playing catch-up in terms of finishing in the Champions League spots. With both managers under fire, defeat for either could see them out of job this early on in the season.

Mazzarri Under Pressure

Walter Mazzarri’s Inter side got off to decent start to the season with two wins and two draws in their first four matches, including a 7-0 victory over Sassuolo. Things looked promising for the former Napoli manager, however a crushing 4-1 defeat at home to Cagliari and a 3-0 loss to Fiorentina in their last match in Serie A has seen the pressure pile on Walter Mazzarri in recent weeks. The board and the fans wont take many more similar results and despite being given the dreaded vote of confidence by the club president this weekend, defeat at home to Napoli could see Mazzarri packing his bags only seven matches into the season. After two crushing defeats in a row Mazzarri blamed the clubs hectic schedule his team’s poor start to the season.

“I have clear ideas and I am fully aware of the problems we have. I don’t want to give excuses but we play every three days and we are not in good physical shape.”

“I have told my players that in the next 15 days we have to work on certain aspects, even if we will lose several players that will be on international duty. After the international break, we need to give a different image.”

“I don’t think it’s an issue regarding our style of football as prior to our game against Cagliari, we had handed good performances.”

After taking Inter to a decent fifth place finish in the last campaign, the Milanese side were expected to build on that this season and move towards challenging for a top three finish but with such a woeful start, defeat to Napoli this Sunday evening could see them with a mountain to climb to finish in the top six and secure European football.

Possible Inter Formation:

 1130978_FC_Internazionale Stuttering Napoli

Rafael Benitez’s Napoli have endured a similar start to Inter so far this season. Before they even kicked a ball in Serie A, the Naples side were dealt a huge blow after they were knocked out of the Champions League in the qualifying round by Athletic Bilbao. Benitez’s side then lost two of their three opening matches, losing at home to Chievo and away to Udinese, resulting in some fans already calling for the Spaniards head. Benitez has managed to turn it round in recent weeks winning his last two matches against Sassuolo and a difficult Torino side, however defeat to Inter this weekend could see the pressure mounting on the former Liverpool manager and with a mountain to climb in terms of a top three finish.

After Napoli’s 2-1 victory over Torino in the last round of matches, Benitez was asked by the Italian media if he had been feeling the pressure in recent weeks, to which the Spaniard replied:

“I wasn’t tense recently,” he insisted. “I was perplexed by everything that was being said after the season we had last year.We know there is a lot of passion in the city, but there are financially stronger clubs and we have to work extra hard to close that gap.”

“Was I offended? No, perplexed. A team that notched up a new record of Serie A points, won 10 away games, scored over 100 goals and finished in third place while winning the Coppa Italia achieved a great deal.

“I realise people expect a great deal, but with football it’s all a question of moments. If even one of our chances from previous games had gone in, we would’ve had as many points as last season.”

 Possible Napoli Formation

1130992_Napoli

With both teams in desperate need of a victory in this one it should make for some great viewing and a win for either side could make or break their season.

Match facts

  • Napoli have won four of the last six meetings between the sides.
  • Jose Callejon is Napoli’s top scorer so far this season with four goals.
  • Pablo Osvaldo is Inter’s top scorer so far this season with four goals.

90 MinuteCynic Prediction Inter 1-2 Napoli 

Despite having home advantage and having some very good players, Inter just don’t seem to have that winning mentality under Walter Mazzarri. With the attacking talent Napoli have at their disposal; on the field and on the bench and with Inter’s defence looking very susceptible, I’m going for Napoli victory.

Who will get their season back on track Inter or Napoli?  Who will be the key players?

Follow Marek on Twitter: @Don_Fulcio


Marek’s two biggest passions in life are football and music. A big fan of European and South American football, he particularly follows the Spanish, Italian and South American leagues. His favourite European teams are Celtic and Barcelona and in the Americas he follows Colo Colo and Boca Juniors. Outside of football he is a vinyl junkie, film nerd, and a lazy left-winger. (politically).


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