The top two teams in the Serie A standings go head-to-head at Stadio San Paolo in what promises to be a scintillating showdown in Naples on Saturday night.
Maurizio Sarri’s men may have lost two of their opening three Group F matches in the Champions League, but have fared better in the domestic season by taking maximum points from each of their opening eight league matches.
Napoli have also been beaten in just two of their last 25 competitive matches on home soil – winning seven of their last eight league matches on their own patch; furthermore, Sarri’s side have scored at least three goals in eight of their last nine Serie A victories at their home stadium.
Given that hugely impressive record, it is no surprise that Napoli are chalked up as bet365’s 1/2 (1.50) favourites to maintain momentum by claiming a ninth successive league victory when they line up against in-form Inter this weekend; the 3-0 win over Cagliari at the beginning of the month marked the first time that any team has won their opening seven Serie A matches in a season and Sarri’s side will be determined to further extend that record-breaking run with a win in this one.
Inter, though, will be in buoyant mood, for Mauro Icardi scored a superb hat-trick last weekend – including a stoppage time penalty – to claim the spoils in the Milan derby for Luciano Spalletti’s side and propel them into second place in the Serie A standings, just two points adrift of Napoli.
The men from Milan are hopeful that the appointment of former Roma boss, Spalletti, will steady the ship following a turbulent campaign last time out which saw both Frank de Boer and Stefano Pioli sacked as managers.
Confidence, then, is high ahead of the trip to Naples and Inter can be backed at 5/1 (6.0) with bet365 to continue their excellent early season form with victory, while the same firm go 100/30 (4.33) that the match remains deadlocked at the end of what promises to be a thrilling 90 minutes.
Both of these sides have the joint-best defensive record in the Italian top tier along with Roma having conceded just five goals apiece so far this season, but the 8/5 (2.60) quote from bet365 for fewer than three goals to be scored in this game is, in many respects, indicative of the incredible attacking talent that both sides can call upon.
Inter’s Icardi has scored nine goals in eight league games so far, while Napoli – with 26 goals in eight matches – are, by some distance, the top scoring team in Serie A so far this season.
The 6/5 (2.20) quote from bet365 for at least four goals to be scored looks to be a solid selection, for it would have landed in four of Napoli’s last five league matches at Stadio San Paolo, but better value may lie in backing Sarri’s team to win by at least two clear goals at 13/10 (2.30) with bet365; the selection would have landed in all but one of Napoli’s last 17 league wins on home soil and the free-scoring hosts could prove too hot to handle for Spalletti’s side on Saturday night.